Originally Posted by John_01
You are right, but its all about marketing and making a profit.
I guess the branding strategy works because there are still a lot of aspirational buyers, and the M label still holds a lot of value.
Agreed. Audi is plastering S-Line on anything that doesn't move and Mercedes offers an AMG package on most models now. I understand the desire to keep the M badge "pure" but BMW is understandably cashing in on their legacy and offering cars that offer some performance benefits along with lots of cosmetics.
I don't blame BMW -- the average 3 Series buyer has no reason to buy an M car, but if they can get a car that looks similar (not identical) and has some benefits, why not? Most true enthusiasts won't eschew the real M cars just because BMW offers watered down M-Sport models and most real enthusiasts will be able to differentiate between real M cars and M-Sport models. Aside from some hurt feelings, BMW doesn't really have a lot to lose as long as they keep making real M cars to push the upper limit, but they have a lot to gain ($$$).