The United States continued to be the driving force for the rapid growth of BMW M in 2023. It remained the performance division’s largest single market, ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom which finished in second and third place, respectively. Globally, 202,530 cars were sold last year, an increase of 14.3% over 2022 and a new all-time high. It’s unclear how many were delivered in the US but whatever the number was, it could’ve been even higher had the M3 Touring been offered in North America. Sadly, that ship has sailed.
2023 saw the launch of no less than four M Performance models: X1 M35i, X2 M35i, i5 M60, and i7 M70. In addition, the hugely controversial XM hit the market, as did the M2, M3 CS, and the long-awaited M3 Touring. BMW also introduced the X5 M60i, X6 M60i, and facelifted the X5 M and X6 M, which are now only sold as Competition models.
2024 is shaping up to be just as busy since we’ll get to see the new M5 Sedan and M5 Touring. Moreover, the M4 CS is also coming later this year, along with updates for the M2, M3, and M4 lineups. Recently teased, a six-speed manual gearbox is finally arriving for the Z4 M40i. Before the end of the year, we might get to see the next-gen M135i hot hatchback and its sedan sibling, the M235i Gran Coupe.
Since we mentioned the stick shift, it’s worth noting that Americans are doing their best to save the manual. In 2023, more than half of all M2s sold in the US came with the six-speed ‘box.
2024 is an important year not just for road cars but also for the motorsport division. The BMW M Hybrid V8 will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). It means we’ll get to see the electrified endurance race car compete at 24 Hours of Le Mans, 25 years after the V12 LMR triumphed on Circuit de la Sarthe.