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What's Up With BMW M's Crazy Anniversary Pricing, Are They Having a Mid-Life Crisis?

Exactly on May 24th, half a century ago, the automotive industry’s performance niche was graced with the apparition of the BMW M. Naturally, the rest is history, written in roaring engine sound and screeching, corner-carving rubber. So, why are they now trying to jump us with overpriced stuff?
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Not long ago, I went out with the family to instill some automotive love into the souls of the little ones – and we visited a fellow journalist’s “significant cars from movies” exhibit. The younglings were thoroughly impressed by DeLorean’s DMC-12 gullwing flop that was made into an eternal movie star by Back to the Future.

Meanwhile, I felt for a little BMW Z3 (remember the purist outrage when it took over from Aston Martin in James Bond’s GoldenEye adventure from 1995?) that had one little heartwarming detail: the safety belts were partially adorned with the symbolic M colors – blue, purple, and red. Times were simpler back in the day, even if we were to extrapolate and discuss the Z3 M roadster that appeared halfway through the M GmbH lifecycle, some 25 years ago. So, why do they have to make all modern stuff so darn complicated?

Just recently, one of my colleagues talked about how the Australia-spec BMW iX M60 kicks off at almost AUD223k (which equated to US$157,929 at the moment of press) and wanted us to read that and then take a moment, read it again, and only then let it sink in. Not that it matters, as we are discussing EV apples and ICE oranges, but a 2022 Land Rover Range Rover Long Wheelbase Autobiography is very close, at $161,600!

Oh wait, but it does matter since the latter now has a BMW-sourced 523-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 to brag about and entice customers with hopes of higher reliability than the older Jaguar supercharged V8 option. But let us get back on the 50th-anniversary track. So, after the 2023 BMW M4 CSL was flaunted online and around the Nürburgring Nordschleife for a record-setting Bavarian production car lap, there were even more M GmbH goodies in store.

Probably just to remind us of their important celebration and snatch a cool profit doing so (with potential for collector craze, later on, just like with the other M GmbH anniversary models), BMW showcased to different parts of the world the BMW M3 and BMW M4 “50 Jahre BMW M” special edition models. Well, they say that once you grasp the outrageous sight of the company’s new double-coffin humongous heritage grille one can never go back to normal kidneys (I think it is bearable, in person) – for better or for worse.

But wait until you check out the regional prices for the M4 Edition 50, which is available in Europe, China, South Africa, and many other markets, save for North America. I could be wrong, but based on the arguably cooler M3 Edition 50 sedan, which is exclusively sold in 500 pieces only in North America, I am fully expecting a tag of more than €100k at home on the Old Continent. After all, the celebratory M3 is already at an MSRP of $95,700 plus a $995 destination. And if you select the optional M Carbon Ceramic brakes and M Carbon bucket seats, it will probably jump the $100k mark as well…

So, BMW might have gained notoriety (bad publicity is still publicity, as they say) with its controversial design choices as of late – making it even easier to stand out in a crowd. But could they start taking lessons from other carmakers about sense and sensibility, for example from Toyota and its recent treatment of the 2023 4Runner 40th Anniversary special edition?!



 
 
 
 
 

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