BMW M CEO Frank van Meel is knows that the M Division is in need of a boost if it wants to catch up to rivals AMG and Audi Sport. Not that BMW’s M Division isn’t competitive. In fact, quite the contrary. Despite most of its cars being the oldest in their respective segments, all BMW M cars are still highly competitive. However, customers are starting to prefer cars from Mercedes-AMG and Audi Sport, as they both start to pass BMW M in sales. So van Meel knows that BMW M needs to increase its model portfolio as well as enhancing the cars it already has.

The first car to begin this massive product offensive is the BMW M3. As the car that everyone thinks of when they think the M Division, the M3’s success is necessary to the brand. “Along with the M5, the M3 is a crucial car for BMW M,” said van Meel. “It wasn’t the first fully fledged M car but it continues to stand for everything the brand is based upon.” Unfortunately for the BMW M3, it has to contend with the new Mercedes-AMG C63 (a customer favorite), the mighty impressive Audi RS4 and the superb Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

To insure that the next-gen M3 is a stud, we’re hearing that BMW will be going the plug-in hybrid, all-wheel drive route. That would be a drastic turn for the famous nameplate and a segment-first, for better or worse. One thing’s for certain, expect the next M3 to be very, very fast.

But it’s not only the BMW M3 that will be leading the M Division into the future. A BMW M2 CS is on its way, bringing a small, hardcore performance car to BMW. There will also be an X3 M, a first for BMW and a car that fans and customers alike with love. Sitting at the top of the M Division will be the upcoming BMW M8, which will not only be stunning but should be a riot to drive as well.

BMW will also be bringing a new M4, X4 M and even a possible Z4 M will all be introduced in the coming years. BMW M needs to ramp up its model line and offer more products that customers really want, if it wants to keep up with its more popular rivals from Mercedes-AMG and Audi Sport.

[Source: Autocar]