BMW Could Electrify Its M-Car Lineup in the Near Future
BMW’s i division may have brought us the electric BMW i3 and the Plug-in BMW i8, but it also brought fear that BMW would merge the the i and M divisions, potentially taking away from the “Ultimate Driving Machine” image associated with the brand’s M-car lineup. Even still, BMW remained adamant that the two divisions would remain separate for the foreseeable future. Well, until now, that is, as BMW’s Head of Product Management – Alexander Kotouc – has hinted that the two brands could eventually merge: “If we built something like a high-performance car or a supersports electric car, why shouldn’t it be something like an iM car?”
That’s the word that comes from Car Advice, who was on the scene in Australia when the BMW 530e iPerformance made its local debut. Kotouc claims that the reasoning behind this possibility in the future stems from the fact that people are willing to step into a car that is “part-electric,” but they still want all of that M goodness we’ve all grown to love. It’s the main reason why the brand’s plug-in models with the M Sport package sell so well. According to Kotouc, the brand’s cars will always retain that “ultimate driving machine” heritage, regardless of drivetrain, so there are at least some reassurances on the table. But, what does that really mean for future i and M models? Keep reading to find out.
BMW 8 Series Concept Images Leaked Ahead of Official Debut
The BMW 8 Series Concept has allegedly leaked online only a day before BMW’s official debut of the two-door coupe at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on May 26. The leak was picked up by Carscoops, but no information about the source or details about the 8 Series were given. While the three images are likely real shots of the BMW concept, there is a chance these could be renderings from a skilled digital artist. The truth won’t reveal itself until tomorrow when BMW pulls the sheets off the concept GT car.
The debut is set along the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. The high-class concourse event has long been a place where automakers showcased their latest exclusive models. It’s fitting, then, that the 8 Series concept should make its arrival there. Earlier this month, BMW CEO Harald Kuüger was quoted saying, “The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination. The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe.”
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Mercedes X-Class vs BMW Pickup
Mercedes has just released its X-Class concept pickup and the frenzy is growing strong. Markets around the world are set to get this “urban lifestyle pickup,” save for North America. Regardless, the Mercedes pickup will undoubtedly cause huge waves in the segment, likely spawning competition from other luxury automakers, including BMW.
We created a rendering of a BMW pickup a few months before the X-Class Concept’s launch. It was based in pure speculation on what BMW could possibly come up with for its first luxury truck. Unlike the Mercedes, we figured the BMW would utilize a unibody architecture shared with the X5 crossover. Luxury and comfort being first, a rough-riding ladder frame truck wouldn’t be the first choice for engineers, right? Mercedes obviously doesn’t think so, but hey, BMW might want to cater to a different, more refined audience who aren’t towing 7,000 pounds or hauling a metric ton.
Both trucks will definitely be big departures from the Toyota Hiluxs and Ford Rangers of the world, and Mercedes says it’s catering to Gen Xers who have previously never considered buying a pickup. BMW would likely follow that direction, leaving the commercial and agricultural sales to the segment stalwarts.
Despite the two trucks (theoretically) going after the same audience, there will undoubtedly be differences. Let’s explore that theoretical world between the Mercedes X-Class Concept and a BMW pickup that doesn’t yet exist.
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Beefier Version of the BMW M2 Could get its Engine from the M4
There’s been a lot of talk about BMW working on a more powerful version of the M2, and rumors keep pouring. Word of a beefed-up M2 got out in 2015, speaking of the coupe being in line for a package similar to the M4 GTS, but with a "CSL" badge on its trunk lid. Now, a new report claims that the upcoming model could be named the CS and borrow its drivetrain from the BMW M4.
That’s the word from German outlet Bimmer Today, which claims that BMW will launch a more powerful M2 Clubsport (CS) for the 2018 model year with a new version of the N55 twin-turbo inline-six that motivates the M3 and M4 instead of the current single-turbo six-cylinder unit. The new mill would bring a power bump compared to the current M2, but don’t expect the new rating to be identical to that of the M4. In order to maintain a gap between the two performance coupes and prevent nameplate cannibalization, the M2 CS would arrive with some 400 horsepower. That’s 35 horses more than the standard M2 and 25 horsepower less than the M4.
The report also claims that M2 CS could also receive suspension components from the M4, thus making it even more track-focused than the standard model. The recipe is similar to what Porsche did with the Cayman GT4, which features various chassis parts from the 911 GT3. Interestingly enough, the M2 is already a solid competitor for the Cayman GT4 if we ignore the radically different engine layouts and prices. Naturally, the M2 CS will also employ new lightweight measure, with curb weight likely to drop by around 100 pounds.
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BMW to Strengthen its Electrification Portfolio
Earlier this year, BMW announced that it was more interested in developing autonomous technology and would essentially shift its focus away from developing electric cars like the BMW i3 and i8. With the “i” division slated to get less attention, there was obviously some drama within the company as executives had mixed feelings about straying away from the brand’s electrification strategy. We weren’t really aware of the tensions within Bimmer over this situation until we learned of rumors that BMW board members had decided to skip the Paris Auto Show altogether to finally put the issue to rest. Now, Handelsblatt has learned from an unnamed source that there has been some progress made and that some BMW models will see electrification without getting the official “i” treatment.
With the BMW i3 struggling to meet sales expectations, it isn’t really a surprise that some executives are iffy on investing more money into the brand’s electrification strategy. But, according to that unnamed sources, executives have agreed to bring battery power to not only the 3 Series but the BMW X4 crossover as well. Furthermore, Mini will also see some electrification with at least one Mini model absorbing a battery pack and electric motor into its architecture as well.
For now, this is all rumor of course, but word has it that the electric Mini would take some DNA from the Mini Rocketman Concept. There’s no word as to whether or not the electrified 3 Series and X4 would be an all-electric or plug-in hybrid, so it could really go either way. BMW should come to a finalized decision sometime this month at which point the company will make an official announcement.
BMW 6 Series Coupe to be Replaced by New 8 Series In 2020
The BMW 8 Series is set to make its long-awaited comeback and while that is all set to happen, questions on when it’s going to arrive have yet to be answered. Well, we now have an idea regarding a timetable for the 8 Series, at least according to BMW Blog, who says that BMW’s new flagship model will hit the market in late 2019 or early 2020. But that’s not all. Turns out, the arrival of the 8 Series will come at the expense of both the 6 Series Coupe and Convertible.
Both the high-end coupe and convertible variants are apparently on the chopping block as BMW seeks to field a legitimate rival to the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. The void left behind by the departure of the two models will be filled up by the 8 Series. There’s no word yet on whether the arriving 8er will strictly be a two-model lineup, but a previous report by Auto Express touched on the possibility of an entire family of models coming out of the 8 family. The same report also listed a number of trademarks that BMW filed with global intellectual property regulators pertaining to possible names for cars that will be given the 8 Series badge.
The 8 Series is also reportedly getting a series of of engines that will include a 3.0-liter straight six that produces 450 horsepower and a more powerful 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 that can develop as much as 650 horsepower without breaking a sweat. The twin-turbo V-8, it seems, is the engine that the German automaker plans to use for the car that will eventually have its eyes set on the Mercedes S-Class Coupe.
As for the 6 Series, the exit of both the 6 Series Coupe and 6 Series Cabriolet isn’t the beginning of the end for that lineup. Instead, BMW is reportedly keen on turning that lineup into its de-facto sports car family, one that will include a two-seater sports car that will compete against the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-AMG GT.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2018 BMW Pickup
News recently surfaced of BMW Australia’s Managing Director, Marc Werner, saying, “never say never” in regards to BMW’s entry into the pickup segment. As we reported, this is far from an official commitment by BMW, but it certainly creates opportunity for the automaker to expand its market reach.
And what’s more, archival Mercedes-Benz is preparing its first-ever pickup while newcomer Tesla has an all-electric pickup on the drawing board. Furthermore, GMC has its Canyon Denali headed for dealers in 2017, so it seems the premium midsize pickup segment is about to explode.
So we at TopSpeed decided to run with the idea of a BMW pickup truck. This rendering shows a midsize pickup based on the X5 platform. Like the Honda Ridgeline, it would use a reinforced unibody chassis designed to handle extra hauling and towing duties, while still maintaining a crossover-like ride. And with it being a BMW, the truck would surely handle well for a pickup. Could this be the “Ultimate Driving (and hauling) Machine?”
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What? BMW Eyeing Premium Pickup Segment?!
No, it’s not April Fools, but news from Down Under is undeniably strange. In talking with BMW Australia’s Managing Director, Marc Werner, at the M3/M4 Competition launch in Queensland, Motoring was told “never say never” in regards to BMW’s entry into the pickup market.
Yep, the M3 pickup joke from 2011 and the X3-based pickup aren’t looking so laughable now.
This all comes after BMW’s Asia, Pacific, and South African chief, Hendrik von Kuenheim told reporters in 2015 BMW would “definitely not” build a pickup. Now a year later, Kuenheim’s subordinate is undercutting his bold statement. “We’re watching the space closely,” said Werner in reference to the premium pickup segment – the same segment Mercedes-Benz is entering with its partnership with Nissan.
So could this mean BMW is actually considering the possibility of building a pickup? Perhaps, but it’s likely the German automaker is simply keeping tabs on the market space. After all, modern BMW isn’t one for letting vehicle segments slip away. A quick glance at its 3, 4, 5, and Gran Coupe Series cements that theory. BMW could, however, jump into the premium pickup segment if it sees Mercedes and Tesla making money.
And like Motoring points out, this wouldn’t be the first promise BMW has ever broken. The automaker has trailed away from its “Ultimate Driving Machine” mantra to one that includes FWD cars.
Logistically, BMW could leverage its relationship with Toyota when it comes time to build a pickup. Imagine a Toyota Hilux bathed in BMW luxury. Now there’s something truck buyers would gobble up.
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BMW traditionalists, allow me to direct you to that magical “x” in the top-right corner of your browsers, as reports indicate that the BMW X2 will arrive in late-2017, according to sources within BMW.
That’s right, this front-wheel-drive tiny crossover with a sloped rear hatch, like the BMW X4 and X6, will soon be a reality. The launch will start with the U.K. in 2017 and we’ll likely get our taste of this questionable crossover around the same time.
Because it’ll share its platform with the 2016 BMW X1, look for the 2017 BMW X2 to carry the same line of engines as its more useful sibling. This lineup will include am array of four-cylinder engines and a three-cylinder economy engine. I have my doubts that the three-cylinder will get any play here in the U.S.
The silver lining of the X2 is a reported M Performance model, which will use the new B48 engine. BMW will tweak the 228-horsepower B48 to somewhere around 300 horsepower, allowing it to compete with the 2015 Audi RS Q3 and the 2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG.
Transmission choices will come in the form of either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed auto, with the former likely not being an option in the U.S. Buyers will of course be able to fit the X2 with xDrive all-wheel drive if front-wheel drive doesn’t satisfy their needs.
Look for the X2 to make its conceptual debut in 2016, possibly at the Geneva show. With this debut so close, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more leaks like this make their way to the media.
Continue reading for the full story.
Already tired of urban SUVs? Too bad, because even more of them are coming. A recent report from Germany suggests that BMW will launch a rival for the upcoming Audi Q1. On the other hand, BMW has already told Automotive News that the report is "pure speculation," and that the company will not comment on speculation.
The original report came from Auto, Motor und Sport, who also found a name for the alleged BMW model: Urban Cross. Said to be based on the same UKL platform as the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, and the next-generation X1, the Urban Cross would become the smallest BMW in the lineup. A FWD-based BMW crossover sitting below the X1 is probably not necessarily something to get overly excited about, although the German car magazine did mention that the entry-level model will have a coupe-like profile and feature more aggressive styling than its bigger brothers.
Auto, Motor und Sport has already predicted a 25,000 euros starting price in Germany when and if it is made, making it about as inexpensive as a 1 Series hatchback. Unlike the 1 Series, the Urban Cross will be much shorter, it will ride higher and will also hunt for the same type of buyers as the upcoming Audi Q1. Market launch is presumed to happen during 2017, one year after the second generation X1 is unveiled.
Continue reading to learn more about BMW’s future Audi Q1 competitor.
It appears the idea of BMW building a drop-top version of its popular i8 has been completely nixed. The word comes straight from a BMW representative when questioned by the Europe-based website, InAutoNews.
“There are no plans to produce the BMW i8 Spyder,” says the BMW rep.
Such a definitive and short answer is hard to question, but we still do. Perhaps BMW is saving a spyder version for the rumored i9, the hyped-up version of the i8 rumored to have a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter I-6 pulled from the M4. With such a potent gasoline powerplant combined with the electric motors from the i8, the i9 could potentially be BMW’s hottest performer.
Still, if BMW does launch the i9, we can expect it to arrive in coupe form first and then followed by a spyder version later. In short, don’t hold your breath.
The BMW representative then spoke on possible iterations of the BMW 7 Series, after future prodding from InAutoNews. Rumors suggest BMW would follow Mercedes’ lead in offering multiple versions of its luxurious 7 Series. The BMW rep again answered, “…there are no plans to produce any derivatives of the 7 Series outside of standard and long-wheelbase.” Kiss a 7 Series coupe and convertible goodbye.
While reports confirm BMW is building a larger flagship SUV slotted above the X5, dubbed the X7, rumors had suggested the 7 Series would be the base for the X7. Again the BMW rep shot the theory to the ground. “The BMW X7 will be produced in the future, but that is a different proposition and is not based on the 7 Series.” Well then.
Regardless of its platform, the X7 will be a direct competitor to the Mercedes GL-Class and the new Range Rover. Expect the X7 to hit European showrooms by 2017 or 2018.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.
While the redesigned BMW 2 Series and the performance-oriented M235i are freely roaming the streets as we speak, the range-topping M2 is still a long way from showing itself in production guise. Sure, we’ve seen the beefed-up coupe in several spy photos during the first half of 2014, but the two vehicles spotted on inner city streets and on the Nürburgring track were merely test mules wearing various M235i body parts.
Scheduled to break cover in 2015, it seems the M2 is finally starting to take shape, as our paparazzi have caught the coupe during a new test session on the ’Green Hell.’ It’s not the first time the M2 takes on the ’Ring’s twisty course, but this time around, the BMW looks closer to what we’ll be seeing in dealerships for the 2016 model year. The differences between the first mules and the new prototype are massive, especially in the bumper area, meaning this is our best look yet at the upcoming M2.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M2.
BMW’s M5 is rumored to get a healthy boost in power while the rest of the 5-Series lineup gets some additional features both inside and out. That’s according to the German website Autobild, which reports the changes will come with the next generation of BMW’s full-size sedans.
Leading the headlines is a rumored 626-horsepower M5 that will feature all-wheel-drive. Not much is know on how BMW plans on producing that power, but it’s a possibility the automaker will still use the same twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8. Currently that engine produces 560 horsepower, so adding an extra 66 horsepower shouldn’t be an impossible task.
The next-gen 5 Series lineup is said to also roughly 100 pounds lighter, thanks to extensive use of aluminum in place of steel. Despite the added lightness, the Bimmer will feature more premium interior materials. The iDrive controller will be revised to use smaller turn/push knob and its voice recognition software will be easier to use. The car’s automated driving features are also set for an extensive update, making fully automated driving a closer reality.
A plug-in hybrid is also set for release. Its 109-horsepower electric motor will work in conjunction with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, itself producing 240 horsepower. The hybrid is also rumored to have inductive charging abilities.
The remainder of the BMW 5 Series lineup will get power updates as well. The top version of the 3.0-liter I-6 will produce 354 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque; the diesel will produce 324 horsepower with a respectable 486 pound-feet of torque; and the M550xd will kick out 402 horses and 553 pound-feet of torque.
We can expect the new 5 Series to hit German roads for the 2016 model year.
Click past the jump to read about the current BMW M5
The news about Toyota and BMW building cars together isn’t new, as the two companies finalized the partnership in January of 2013, but thanks to the Nikkei Asian Review, we’ve got some rumors as to what the two companies have been working on. Those plans revolve around the next-generation BMW Z4 and a revival of the famed Toyota Supra.
The Nikkei reports the two cars will share the same platform, manufacturing processes, and parts procurements. The two sports cars, however, won’t be sharing the same body style and will be sold under their respective brands. What’s more, these two cars could debut as early as 2017.
The report speculates whether Toyota would be able to adopt the same carbon-fiber-extensive construction style BMW has recently adopted, citing cost as the limiting factor. However, with the falling cost of carbon fiber and its exploding popularity, the material might be within Toyota’s reach. This is especially true for such a specialized sports car as the Supra.
The Nikkei report lacks further juicy details about the partnership or its planed products, but news seems rather certain. The 2017 date is still tentative, but the possibility still remains.
As far as powertrains, it’s anybody’s guess as to what will be found under hood. Perhaps BMW will provide a TwinPower, inline six-cylinder or maybe each automaker will supply its own powerplants. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, with BMW and Toyota partnered together, the future looks bright with the addition of two exciting sports cars.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Supra and the current Z4
The news surrounding the BMW i8 is relentless these days with information flowing in left and right. But sadly, the latest bit of news doesn’t hold much promise for those looking forward to a sportier version of the i8 or a replacement for the M1 coming from the i8 platform.
Our German friends over at Autovisie sat down with Carsten Pries, BMW’s head of Product Management M, for a recent interview. His issue lies with creating competition for its own i8 by flooding the already-small segment with low sales volumes. Not to mention the need to develop more powerful hybrid technology and a larger engine sized properly for an i8-like car. What’s more, the i8 was developed from the ground up to be an electric hybrid with only a small gasoline engine.
The lack of an outright M model based on the i8 doesn’t completely spell disaster. Friedrich Nitschke, the CEO of BMW M, says the fuel-saving technology from the i8 might wind up in future M models while the sportier aspects of the M Division might find its way onto future i models.
While these words came from BMW corporate heads, Pries and Nitschke may be bluffing about the existence of a high-performance hybrid supercar. Only time will tell, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking information.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.
Once BMW confirmed that the coupe and convertible versions of the 1 Series would be marketed as the 2 Series, it was clear as daylight that a high performance M2 version is underway.
We’ve already rendered the successor to the cool 1M and strolled through plenty of details about the upcoming coupe, but the time has come to have a look at the real deal, as our skilled paparazzi have caught a prototype version of the M2 stretching its wheels somewhere in Germany.
Far from being a production-ready vehicle, this mule wears front and rear fascias similar to those seen on the M235i Coupe, but it appears to be fitted with wider fenders. Other details that highlight the vehicle’s ankle-biting nature are the M-style wheels wrapped in Michelin tires and the cross-drilled rotors paired with blue brake calipers.
As development continues, we’re expecting to see a more aggressive front bumper, a more pronounced rear diffuser, and quad exhaust pipes.
Naturally, the M2 will be the most powerful model in the 2-Series range, with its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six to deliver around 400 horsepower. That’s about 80 horses more than the M235i, just enough to turn the M2 into a heck of a coupe.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M2 Coupe.
2015 BMW i8 pictured above
We already know that BMW has trademarked an entire range of nomenclatures for its "i" range, but up until now, the only models that we know of that will carry the names are the i3, the i8, and the rumored i5. Now, it appears that another model will be added to the i range and according to Auto Motor und Sport, and other sources. Word has it the new car is a four-door futuristic sports car that will be called the "i9."
This is interesting because it follows in BMW’s plan to create an entirely new segment of vehicles that will address the company’s commitment to future mobility and sustainability. The i3 and the i8 got the ball rolling on that end, presenting customers with two different models that share the same principles of combining BMW’s renowned engineering prowess with a fresh approach towards functionality and efficiency.The rumored i5 midsized MPV is also expected to follow in that blueprint, all while bridging the gap between the i3 and the i8.
All this eventually leads us to the i9, a model that a lot of people know little about but has instantly become a hot subject just by word of its impending arrival. Given its name and BMW’s standard way of badging vehicles, we can assume that the i9 is going to be slotted above the i8, if you can even imagine that given how ridiculously awesome the i8 already is.
Our best guess about the i9 is that it’s going to be a more exclusive version of the i8, one that will come with a similar carbon fiber body and all of the car’s latest technological features. More importantly, we see the i9 as something of an evolution of sorts from the i8, especially when it comes to improvements BMW will make on its hybrid technology to increase performance and efficiency at the same time.
All this is, of course, is speculation on our part. What we do know is that the i9 is going to be sick, kind of the way BMW blew us away with the introduction of the i8.
Click past the jump to read more about the current BMW i8.
After BMW announced the i8 we were kind of hoping to see an M version for it. To our disappointment, BMW officials said that such a model is "no longer part of the program." However, the German magazine Autobild claims the M version of the i8 back into focus and it reports we’re still going to see it in 2016.
We’re not very sure about the name, although there are two plausible possibilities: BMW M1 — as a tribute to its first supercar — or the more obvious M8. Either way, Autobild claims that it will carry a twin-turbo V-8 engine that develops around 600 horsepower. This should be enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3 seconds and up to a top speed of 200 mph.
The same magazine reports that the model will keep i8’s carbon-fiber passenger cell that will help keep its curb weight of about 1,500 kg (3,300 pounds).
We’ve seen this song-and-dance game before, and as the rumor gains traction, BMW will quickly shoot it down, regardless of it being true or false.
Click past the jump to read more about BMW i8.
Thanks to the downsizing trend that many top brands have been following lately, we might have to say goodbye to the top-of-the-line V-12 engine in BMW’s lineup. As of yet, BMW hasn’t given the green light to its inclusion in the next-generation 7-Series.
The V-12 engine has always been the pièce de résistance for the flagship BMW. Other than the plethora of creature comforts and gadgets that would make your kids happy, the V-12 engine gave the 7-Series immense power — 544 horses of it — that would make your gearhead friends happy as well. M-Series cars aside, this engine made the BMW 760Li the most powerful and costliest Bimmer ever made. It was more like buying the cheaper, German cousin of the Rolls Royce Ghost.
If it is axed, BMW may replace the hole left by the V-12 with a tuned version of the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine from the M5. BMW claims the difference between the two is size of the hole burnt in your pocket when it comes to gas consumption.
For people who are planning to buy the flagship limo just for the V-12 engine – likely only a handful of people – don’t lose hope yet, as the consideration of this engine is still under review. However, with the downsizing trend picking up pace and popularity, this move seems inevitable.
De Tomaso’s short-lived revival has pretty much gone under the tank, but despite the gloomy times from the Italian automaker, there could very well be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Automotive News Europe is reporting that the Italian Industry Ministry is looking for suitors in the industry willing to buy the struggling Italian automaker, and one of them is BMW.
The German automaker has previously stated its lack of interest in buying De Tomaso, but we all know how the winds can change course abruptly in the auto industry.
"We had confirmation that talks with possible Italian partners and with BMW continue," Giuseppe Anfuso, Turin secretary of the UILM trade union, said through a statement after a meeting that included the ministry, the unions and the local governments of the Piedmont region and the city of Grugliasco.
The hope is for a buyer to be named before the end of the year, and if that ends up being BMW, then there could be new life infused to the De Tomaso brand.
We have heard all kinds of rumors about the BMW M1 supercar, including the possibility of its return. You may remember that, four years ago, BMW unveiled the M1 Hommage - a concept car built as a tribute to the M1’s 30th anniversary. Back then, everyone believed that this would be a preview of a new production M1, but BMW quickly denied those rumors, leaving all of us with the disappointed hopes.
Now German magazine Autobild is reporting that a successor for the M1 will in fact be unveiled in 2016, after the unveiling of the hybrid i8. The next M1 will be built as a combination between performance and economy and will be powered by a V8 engine with direct injection and a turbocharger. This engine’s an output will be placed somewhere between 600 and 650 HP.
The new M1 will be built using BMW’s "Efficient Dynamics" program meaning that it will come with features like a start-stop system and braking energy recovery. All of these features will be combined with a carbon-fiber body and a total weight of 2,755 lbs, which will make the next M1 a real competitor for models like the Mercedes SLS AMG GT and the Audi R8.
Expect the new BMW M1 to debut in 2016, priced at about 250,000 euro, about $315.000 at the current exchange rates.
When six-speed transmissions began becoming more and more popular throughout the mid-2000s, drivers began to adapt to them. For most drivers, the change from five to six speeds was a relatively simple one, as it was just one more gear downward. Now with automatic transmissions exhibiting better fuel economy than manuals, thanks 7- and 8-speed automatics, the manual transmission needs to adapt or die.
In true Darwin-like fashion the 6-speed evolved into a 7-speed on the most recent Porsche 911, so why hasn’t any one else followed suit? The truth behind it is that most experts decided that six speeds is about all that the average human can handle in a car. Well, BMW appears to be joining Porsche in proving the experts wrong, as according to patent drawings that surfaced recently, there is a 7-speed manual in development for BMW.
BMW isn’t trying to say that the experts are 100 percent incorrect, as all signs point toward electronic gating of the gears, which prevent a driver from accidentally shifting to 1st gear when going 70 mph and 7th gear when going 20 mph.
These drawings combined with electronic gating of the gears also bring about the possibility of a semi-truck-like 8-speed transmission option. An 8th speed would definitely place the manual transmission back into at least a 1st place tie with new automatics for fuel economy supremacy, but their widespread reality has yet to be seen, and the verdict is still out on the 7-speed variant of the 911. To date it seems like a winner, as it gives the driver six shortly spaced gears then a 7th wide, overdrive-like speed.
We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available on this patent drawing of a 7-speed transmission.