The Spun Bearing: New M Strategy, Cars At the CES, and Chevy Code 130R

Featured Posts, Interesting | January 13th, 2012 by 6

New M Strategy

It was just a matter of time. The M bits have been sneaking into BMW’s mainstream products for awhile, a shift knob here, a steering wheel there, but now the M-ification proceeds to its logical conclusion. M specific engine and suspension tuning that brings a sport model up a bit, but still not to full M spec.

There will always be the ‘pure’ M vehicles and they will continue to be the heart and soul of the M brand. But M will now expand into a range of M Performance Automobiles. Maybe a bit less strident, but still a step above the sport package versions of the respective platform.

bmw x6 m50d2

So is this a new concept in the market? Well, Audi did debut it’s S-Line several years ago, so no. But it does make sense. BMW can enhance the value of the product (and generate additional revenue) from buyers who want a bit more than sport, but yet not the full M.

My only question about the partial Ms is will they be badged ‘M’ or ‘m’?

Cars at the Consumer Electronics Show

While auto journalists converged on Detroit for the NAIASA, other journalists headed to Las Vegas for the CES. And more than one auto executive spent time in transit between the two.

The CES is becoming more important to auto makers every year. What with the emergence of connected cars, the software and hardware gadgets to make that happen are taking on more importance.

It isn’t unusual to see concept cars appear at CES and not at the NAIAS (or at both simultaneously). And as the latest generation of prospective automotive purchasers puts a higher premium on connectedness, look for the CES to continue to be a must for auto makers.

Chevy Code 130R

I spotted what I thought was a short wheelbase Camaro with an odd C pillar (more upright than the Camaro’s) and didn’t put two and two together at the time. But the Code 130R appears to be Chevy’s answer to the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the upcoming ’86’ RWD cars jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru.

And yes, some might compare it to the BMW 1 series. (After all they did call it a 130R.) But the similarities may end with an upright rear roofline and rear wheel drive. The speculation is that the 130R will receive a 1.4 L turbo four cylinder, with a rumored 150 HP.

If it does make production, expect a 2.0L turbo Ecotec engine as the top of the line with about 250+ HP (and good low end torque). GM has been building the turbo,direct injected Ecotec for a few years now and has had a lot of success with it.