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“I had the same question the other way around in my former job. Why not explore an RS sedan? BMW is not a Touring-focused group. Popularity is still stronger on the sedan side, so when people connect to BMW, it’s sedan. What people connect to the company next door [Audi], it’s another body shape.”
“That body shape is not popular in China and not popular in the US – and as the US is our biggest market, we would be making a model that our biggest market does not want.”
So while Van Meel ruled out the M3 Touring or M5 Touring, he left the door open for a future M version based on the X3 and X4 SUVs.
When challenged on the idea of an X3M or X4M, he simply commented: “That might be a business opportunity.”
Despite being niche models, the BMW X5 M and X6M have seen great success in America and other markets, and the second generation of these M SUVs aims to convert even more customers to the powerful SUV.