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Mike Stevens | Jan 13, 2012

BMW is preparing to launch a new M Performance range, slotting in between the top-shelf versions of its regular models and the hero M badge.

Unlike the current M Sport options, which focus on styling and handling tweaks, the M Performance range will also include more powerful engines.

If that's a hard one to get your head around, we don't blame you. Think of it is an equivalent to Audi's S range, above the 'S Line' packages and outgunned only by the brand-leading RS models.

Announcing the new range this week, BMW boss Friedrich Nitschke said: "We will be targeting these cars at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don't want to lose the every-day useability of their cars."

"Back in the 1970s and 80s, we ran a similar product category very successfully, with the BMW M535i. Our aim is to continue this tradition with the BMW M Performance automobiles, and ultimately use the expertise of BMW M to provide a new product line-up for our customers, based on our regular models," he said.

Nitschke hinted that we can expect rear- and all-wheel-drive models in the M Performance range, along with petrol and diesel engines.

Details for the new models have not yet been released. We can, however, likely expect the X6 diesel to feature in the range, along with a version of the new 1 Series, based on the 1 Series Performance Concept revealed at Frankfurt.

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