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Mike Stevens | Aug 27, 2012

BMW's new M Performance range has, for now, existed as a new sub-M range occupying the barely-there space above the M Sport styling and handling catalogue, and the power-boosted is models.

It's a complicated arrangement that sees four sports options split across the top end of BMW's various models, but new reports out of the US suggest BMW may soon cut the confusion.

According to American magazine Car & Driver, new powered-up Bimmers that would normally wear an is badge - such as the Z4 sDrive35is - will instead debut as part of the 'M Performance' line.

The change means that while the true M cars will remain BMW's top-shelf performance cars, M Performance will become the power-enhanced (and more expensive) alternative to the relatively tame M Sport range.

Existing models would remain unchanged, but if the report is accurate, expect the next 335is to instead launch as the M335i - one significant step below the hero M3.

(And what of the Z4? Z4 sDriveM35i perhaps...)

BMW is also expected to debut new 2 and 4 Series models - separating the coupe and convertible bodies from the 1 and 3 Series families - so expect M235i and M435i models to follow.

The new cars would join the existing M Performance models, which include the X5 M50d and X6 M50d performance diesel SUVs, and the new M135i hatch.

Watch for more details on this one in the coming months.

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