M is for skunkworks

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Lucky Ian Wylie, Fast Company writer, had a ride in BMW’s newest M5 – a 190mph 507hp v10, something you could find in a pimped Honda, but probably not appointed with the same kind of leather and fancy little button that unleashes the last 100hp without artificial accelerant. At 20,000 units per year, the 500 person M division cranks out 40 cars each and results, coincidentally, in a 40% higher sticker price (over $100K for an M5).

BMW M cars are created for the auto enthusiast – the BMW early adopter. Today’s M5 informs tomorrow’s 5-series. Impressively enough, BWM assembles the distinguished M models alongside the rest of the fleet. It shows the companies ability to not only develop the next generation bimmer in a skunkworks fashion, but also integrate those innovations into their production process. BMW has long identified consumers willing to pay for leading edge R&D by offering an intentionally modified version of their regular autos – a marriage made in heaven, hopefully one without speed limits.