I rarely do this - as I get older there are an increasing number of things that I rarely do - but I shall indulge myself today. Internet speculation. I shall write whereof I cannot speak, and risk the consequences.
Leica. Famed name and a fine supplier of fabulous cameras. Currently exhibiting their new products at Photokina, pictures of which appear on DP Review and stimulate the mind, if not the eye.
Case in point is the new Leica M-E. It is shown as an economically-priced M series camera body to allow basic picture taking with Leica lenses. Apart from the paint job on the top and bottom plate - a sort of field-grey or Home Fleet # 27 Humbrol colour - and the absence of the lever that previews finder masks, I cannot see much difference between this and the M9. Leica say it is stripped down to just the essentials for picture taking, but I notice that they still use leather for the camera grip. If they were really serious about cheapening it they would have wrapped it in a used sugar sack...
No, hold that - the sugar sack would be more useful to contain their designer X2. They are showing an X2 that has been redecorated by a British designer, possibly with a grudge, that features green, yellow, and orange on the body covering and paint job. It looks perfect for party pictures during Fasching provided you keep your eyes closed.
I think there may well be a good point to the M-E, particularly if you couple it to Summarit lenses. You will be able to be a Leicaperson at a lower price point and if the internal build quality is the usual Leica standard, you will be able to haul it through the toughest conditions. Whether the oeconomical philosophy will appeal to that section of the market that buys Leica cameras to impress their relatives is another matter. They will probably opt for the new Leica M with the option to view through the lens via an separate electronic viewfinder as well as the classic rangefinder view.
It will be fun to see how the different models are received - as far as the designer X2, I suspect it might go back into a cabinet in Solms. Whether it goes quietly or screams and flaps is another matter...