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BMW to launch M Performance range

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    "You've probably seen the internet teasers for it - a series of blury headlights ... " says BMW Australia spokesman Piers Scott.

Want more than a standard BMW but who can't afford an outiright M model?

You'll be catered for later this year, when an X6 SUV will launch BMW's range of with the M Performance Automobiles.

BMW Australia spokesman Piers Scott confirms the hi-spec SUV will be the first of a series of cars from the Bavarian company that will sit above the regular models fitted with an M sports kit (normally external "dressing") but below the outright performance of the M-badged vehicles.

"It's not uncharted territory in the sense we've done this before - there were performance variants in the late 1980s - but the X6 will be the first cab off the rank this time around," he says. "We hope to have the X6 version in quarter three this year," Scott says.

"You've probably seen the internet teasers for it - a series of blury headlights, but it's no secret it has been designated the M50d and will run a bespoke engine. In that sense, it sits above the aftermarket enhancements and subsequent models will arrive where there is known to be proven demand for them, in either petrol or diesel configuration."

Scott cites the 135i as a likely contender. "We know there are a lot of cars that are "chipped up" or fitted with aftermarket performance components and this range will cater to that market, while givig the reassurance the vehicles are being fitted with genuine BMW performance gear," he says.

"No model is in or out - it will come down to what we perceive as  the market for them."

BMW M president Dr Frierich Nitschke says: "We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don't want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars. The new product line-up will be a range that includes a wide variety of model series, as well as both petrol and diesel-engined variants."

The M Performance Automobiles range is expected to be shown at the Geneva International Motor Show starting from March 8.

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