BMW announced Thursday that it will introduce an M Performance trim of many of its vehicles starting in spring 2012. In a press release, the automaker said the new line, which slots between the 3-Series and the M3, for example, will offer BMW drivers practicality and performance. According to BMW M GmbH President Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, the new product lineup would include “both petrol and diesel-engined variants” and possibly all-wheel drive.

BMW M vehicles use strictly gas engines and most are rear-wheel drive. “Given the mention of both all-wheel drive and diesel models in the announcement, it seems like the new line is specifically geared towards both of those features that BMW likely believes would tarnish the original M line or just wouldn’t be appropriate for an M3 or M5,” writes Autoblog.

Rather than being detuned versions of the powerful M cars and SUVs, the M Performance lineup will mostly be sportier versions of the regular BMW models. Car and Driver says that the engines found in the lineup will “use existing engines with a unique state of tune for extra power.” In addition to suspension and engine enhancements, the new M Performance lineup will also likely have sportier styling.  

BMW has not specified which models would get the M Performance trim. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the M Performance vehicles would likely cost less than a full-fledged M model and more than the regular vehicle upon which it is based.

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