BMW will appease full-size performance sedan buyers with a 7 Series M version

BMW-7-Series_2016_front angle

BMW has not been shy about injecting new models into its lineup, and new versions of those models, and new packages for those versions of those models, yet the German automaker shows some restraint when it comes to applying the coveted “M” badge to vehicles.

BMW, like many luxury performance manufacturers, has developed a mid-level performance category called the “M Performance” line, that adds suspension, braking, and power upgrades to most of its products without going “full-M” on them. Mercedes-Benz has its AMG-Sport designation, Jaguar is working on an “SV” category, and Audi has its long-established “S” range.

Currently, Bavaria’s carmaker sells the M3, M4, X5M, X6M, and is working on the M2. That’s a decent range of M products, but some who are in the market for the 2016 7 Series are looking for a top-dog M7. Unfortunately for them, BMW has been clear that it doesn’t plan to build such a model, but now it appears an M Performance version is on the way.

The new 7 Series debuts with two engine options: a turbocharged inline six-cylinder that develops 320 horsepower, and a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 445 hp at its disposal. Also in the works is a new 760i with a twin-turbo V12, a six-cylinder hybrid, and a 600 horsepower Alpina B7.

The proposed 7 Series M Performance would likely be based on the V8-powered car, but with a significant power upgrade, suspension tweaks, a unique body kit, a thicker steering wheel, distinctive interior trim and stronger brakes. The power boost could come from a small electric motor to provide instant torque similar to high performance sports cars like the McLaren P1.

Audi’s 520 horsepower S8, Jaguar’s 550 hp XJR, and Mercedes Benz’s 577 hp S63 AMG will be waiting for the BMW 7 Series M when it debuts sometime next year.