Paul Ferraiolo, BMW North America's manager of product planning and strategy, spoke to Motor Trend at the recent LA auto show about the company's new model pipeline.
Regarding an M version of the BMW 7 Series to tackle the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and S65 AMG, Ferraiolo says: "We feel really good with what we've got with Alpina. The M adds sort of a track-element to that, and I don't know if there's a lot of demand for the 7 Series on the track."
Given that the USA is the largest market for the company's various M cars, that seems to be a pretty definitive statement for now.
The current BMW Alpina B7 features a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 under the bonnet. The Alpina fettled engine churns out 397kW of power and 730Nm of torque, which is funnelled to the ground via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
A 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 312km/h is possible in the rear-wheel drive version of the B7. The all-wheel drive version is 0.1 seconds faster to 100km/h, but has a lower top speed of 310km/h. Long wheelbase models are 0.2 seconds slower than their short wheelbase equivalents.
Ferraiolo was a little less willing to dismiss a crossover between BMW's M division and the newly created i range of environmentally conscious vehicles, which includes the plug-in hybrid i8 supercar and i3 electric hatchback. Any cross polination would result in technologies honed in an i vehicle, like carbon fibre construction, appearing in an M car.
For those who fear that BMW is chasing too many niches and releasing too many models, it may be a good time look away. According to Ferraiolo: "When we see something that could work, we go after it, so it's not something that has a finite ending when we run out of numbers. The market is always evolving and we're always looking how we can exploit the market."