10 Things a BMW M Hypercar Needs to Corner the Market
One of the best ways to showcase your technical expertise and convince buyers to buy your cars is to build a hypercar. Mercedes-AMG did it, Aston Martin too. Heck, Volkswagen AG has the best of them all - the Bugatti Veyron and the Chiron. I can only imagine that somewhere in BMW headquarters in Munchen, the board of directors and investors sat together and discussed the hypercar idea.
After all, back in 2017, when Mercedes-AMG showcased the F1 inspired Project One, BMW M boss Dirk Hacker said:
“We would like to do a standalone car, and we could do it – but today there is no requirement from the market to do it. As a company, we are more focused on future mobility than digitization than building a hypercar, to be honest, but if we came to the decision to do a super sports car, then we could do that.”
Apparently, the market still isn’t favorable for the development of the BMW hypercar, but that does not stop us from the brainstorming of what that proposed hypercar could be. I am giving you ten different things BMW hypercar needs to succeed.
The BMW M5 and Nissan GT-R Try to Tame a Ducati Panigale V4R in a Drag Race for the Ages
A heavily tuned BMW M5 Competition and Nissan GT-R would make for a tremendous race. Both models are already revered for their performance capabilities, but when you throw in the element of the aftermarket world into the mix, well, let’s just say that fireworks are expected.
We get to see these two heavy hitters in that environment courtesy of Carwow, but this particular race isn’t just between the M5 Competition and the GT-R. A third participant is involved, and it’s one of the most feared two-wheeled killers in the market: the Ducati Panigale V4R. This is a three-vehicle competition, and the stakes just went to the next level. Does the Panigale V4R have a chance against a heavily tuned M5 Competition and a souped-up Godzilla or is it going to fall flat on its face?
The Need For Electric Cars Just Killed the BMW M Next Supercar
When BMW revealed the 2019 BMW Vision M Next Concept, it served a couple of purposes. The official purpose was that it represented BMW’s take on how “driving pleasure might look in the future,” but it was also said to preview the future of BMW’s M-badged models and the company’s new hybrid powertrain. However, this debut happened six months after it was discovered that BMW was planning a 700-horsepower hybrid supercar to take on Ferrari and Lamborghini, among others. When purists and enthusiasts put 2+2 together, it made sense that the M Next Concept could move into production and that the long-awaited supercar would likely be a reworked i8 M Shortly after that news, it was reported that the i8 M was canceled, but it was never confirmed – at least not until now, anyway.
BMW M Next Hypercar - AKA the i8 M - Is Reportedly Cancelled
BMW’s Long-Awaited Supercar Will Probably be the i8 M
Six years old as of 2020, the BMW i8 is a bit long in the tooth. As a result, BMW decided to end production of the hybrid sports car. The bad news is that the Germans have yet to announce a successor, but a recent report claims that BMW is actually working on a follow-up. And it seems that its spiritual success will be notably more powerful.
Want a BMW M1 Lego kit? Hurry Up and Support this Product Idea
You can get a BMW M1 at auction, provided you’re lucky enough and someone decides to sell theirs, for a round half a million dollars. That’s right. BMW’s inline-six supercar can fetch $500,000 easily.
Or, in case you’re a proud member of the 99 percent, you can go and check out the Lego Ideas website and show your support for what could be a stunning (and hopefully affordable) set made of not one, but two BMW M1s: the road-legal car and the race version.
A Standalone M Halo Model Just Got a Huge Boost of Momentum
The unveiling of the BMW Vision M Next Concept at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show opened the doors on the possibility of one day seeing a standalone M halo model. That door remains open to this day, though BMW M chief Markus Flasch was also quick to point out that the new standalone model doesn’t have to be a mid-engined supercar. Flasch made that point while speaking to Auto Express at the Los Angeles Auto Show, adding that even if it doesn’t turn out to be in the vein of the Vision M Next Concept, the future M model still has to “stand out from the crowd,” as all M cars should. Regardless of the form it ends up taking, the future M model is expected to arrive sometime in 2021.
2019 BMW M8
The BMW 8 Series returned in 2018 after almost 20 years. Developed to replace the 6 Series, the 8 Series is sportier, more modern, and enables BMW to compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.. But since this is BMW we’re talking about, it’s not just a matter of competing against its rivals; it’s also about one-upping them when the opportunity comes. That "opportunity" has arrived in the form of the BMW M8, the high-performance version that will be offered in coupe and convertible form, not to mention coupe and convertible variants of the more potent Competition trim. Production for the M8 starts in mid-to-late 2019. The M8 is priced from $133,000 for the base coupe model to $155,500 for the Competition convertible model.
2017 BMW i8 – Driven
The BMW i8 has been around since the 2015 model year, but I’ve just recently had the chance to get behind the wheel. In fact, I had an entire week to play with it, driving it to mundane places like the grocery store and the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school. As you might imagine, the i8 garnered plenty of attention wherever it went. And why not? It’s the sexiest machine in BMW’s current lineup and just as exotic as anything from Lamborghini or Ferrari. Yet under its Sophisto Grey paint and carbon fiber reinforced plastic body lies some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced drivetrain components this side of Doc Brown’s DMC DeLorean and its Mr. Fusion nuclear reactor.
The i8, along with its less athletically inclined brother, the i3, are the current members of BMW’s i Division. As BMW’s M Division is committed to high performance vehicles, the i Division is all about electrification. For the time being, the i Division has concentrated on gasoline-electric hybrids, combining the best of both worlds into an amalgamation of efficiency and sportiness while limiting the amount of gasoline needed. Holistically, the BMW i8 lives up to its hype, delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, an EPA-estimated 76 MPGe, and a combined rating of 28 mpg when the gasoline three-cylinder kicks on. But like most cutting-edge technology and exotic supercars, the everyday experience can be a bit compromised and challenging.
Continue reading for the full review of the 2017 BMW i8.
BMW hybrid hypercar to compete against Mercedes
The growing trend of hypercars has given way to the likes of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the Mercedes-AMG Project One, joining the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Ferrari LaFerrari, and the McLaren P1 in this extremely exclusive club. And, from the looks of it, more companies are considering their own hypercars of the future. We already know that Audi’s thinking about it and McLaren is considering a follow-up to the P1. Now, we’re getting word that BMW is also looking to join in on the fun with its own multi-million dollar hypercar, one that could compete against the aforementioned Valkyrie, Project One, and the yet-to-be-identified P1 successor.
BMW M Vice President of Sales and Marketing Peter Quintus revealed to Drive that BMW is toying around with the idea, even if it remains on the low-end of the German automaker’s priorities. Even with that specific status, the thought of a BMW hypercar isn’t that far-fetched. After all, the company has made similar considerations in the past, including the introduction of the M1 Hommage Concept back in 2008. Nothing has come out of these discussions, but considering the influx of hypercars in the market today, there’s a very real possibility that BMW could throw its name into the hat with its own hybrid-powered, ultra-performance vehicle. It has the concepts to do it. It has the finances to do it. Most importantly, it has, according to Quintus, the technology that will allow it to build a car that can rival whatever the competition has up their own sleeves.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
You Won’t Believe the Mileage on this BMW M1
Every now and then someone stumbles across an absolutely amazing car that has been stashed away in a barn and completely forgotten about. One of our favorites or recent years was a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante that was found back in 2009. But, more recently, there was a Ferrari 250 GT California SWB that was followed by the find of a 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III V12 Roadster a couple of months later. Today, we’re happy to report that there has been another great barn find that is being advertised by Mint Classics on their Facebook page: a 1981 BMW M1.
Now, the M1 is special in its own right, being regarded across the world as BMW’s only true supercar and the first mass-produced, mid-engined vehicle from the iconic brand. But, that’s not what really makes this specific example so special. See, this example has just 7,329 km on the clock which computes to just 4,554 miles to those of us here in the U.S. Details about the car itself are rather scant at the moment, and Mint Classics has yet to add it to its official website, but it is known that it was found in a southern Italian garage where it had been sitting since 1982.
Needless to say, and as you can see in the pictures, this baby is in need of a serious detail and some mild maintenance. But, aside from that, and the need to replace any weathered rubber components, this thing appears to be in near-perfect condition. And, as you’ll see in a few of the pictures, it’s already been given a quick bath, and surely the restoration of this classic beauty will be underway shortly.
Continue reading for the full story.
1978 - 1981 BMW M1
Although BMW had been racing its cars since the 1920s, it didn’t develop its first true-blue sports car until the late 1970s. A few years after the M division started making headlines with its beefed-up sedans and coupes, BMW signed an agreement with Italian manufacturer Lamborghini to build a mid-engine sports car in sufficient quantity for racing homologation. The collaboration didn’t go as planned, and BMW eventually decided to produce the car itself with input from its Motorsport division. The M1’s body was designed by Giugiaro, which explains its very Italian cues, while production was handled by Baur. The end result was sold to the public from 1978 to 1981, with only 453 examples built.
To this day, the M1 remains one of BMW’s rarest models. Likewise, it is also one of the company’s most successful race cars, with its track career surpassing that of the road car’s well into the 1980s. Unfortunately, the M1 is also BMW’s first sports car, which makes it that much more important to the Munich’s storied history as an automobile manufacturer.
The M1 Homage Concept launched in 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the M1 spawned rumors that BMW might build a successor, but a modern-day M1 has yet to arrive as of 2014.
Updated 08/23/2016: RM Sotheby’s auctioned a very well preserved Ferrari Enzo during the 2016 Monterey Car Week. Check out the "Prices" section to see how how much it was auctioned and the "Pictures" tab for some images taken during the event.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1978-1981 BMW M1.
BMW’s supercar, the M1, was sold between 1978 to 1981 as the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. But you’d expect more from a maker like BMW, right? And with all the competition on the market, BMW had to do something about it, so they decided to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show into production.
There is one distinct change for the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept as it heads into production, as BMW changed its name to the i8. Along with the recently announced i3, the i8 shows the other end of the spectrum that the German automaker can reach with its hybrid drivetrains. The production i8 will, surprisingly, carry the concept’s in-line three-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to drive the front wheels.
As of now, there is only one i8 model set for production, but we have a sneaking suspicion that there may be an M or M Sport model in coming years.
Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming i8
BMW is updating its plug-in electric hybrid sports car, the i8, with additional standard equipment for the Geneva Motor Show, set to kick off in March. There will be new options for interior styling, and inclusion of the Pure Impulse Experience program, which, according to a press release, comprises “exclusive lifestyle options in the areas of culture, design, travel and gastronomy in keeping with the progressive and sustainable ‘next premium’ approach of the BMW i brand.”
Basically, that means members get benefits like a membership to Club magazine, invitations to attend special events, tips on finding new eco-resorts, and opportunities to dine in some of the top restaurants.
The update coincides with additional international services now available to i3 and i8 customers. Dubbed the 360° ELECTRIC program, i owners may now participate in things like ChargeNow, an expanding charging and payment service with fast-charge stations supporting international roaming. Or there’s ParkNow, the web- and app-based service to help drivers find parking spaces in hundreds of cities across North America, filtering through search results by price, distance, and availability of charging services and car washes. There’s also DriveNow, which arranges car-sharing options among 390,000 registered users in the U.S. and Europe. Finally, BMW is taking on a “second-life” project in the U.S., Germany, and China, whereby lithium-ion batteries that have passed their roadworthiness life cycles are recycled as stationary energy-storage devices.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.
It’s been a while since I admittedly got all tingly about a car that doesn’t even exist yet, but BMW seems to have done the trick with this “hotter i8” report. Automobile Mag is reporting that BMW’s 100th anniversary in 2016 will coincide with the launch of green supercar that currently carries the codename “M100”. The codename is merely temporary, as it’s reportedly set to be called the BMW i8S.
According to Automobile Mag, the new “i8S” isn’t just going to be a showpiece concept; rather, BMW has plans to release a full-fledged production model by 2017.
Project i team leader Ulrich Kranz is spearheading the project under the leadership of Roberto Fedeli, BMW’s program director who recently traded in his technical director job at Ferrari for BMW. Fedeli’s involvement is particularly interesting because of his expertise in lightweight construction materials and hybrid powertrains, two critical ingredients of the Ferrari LaFerrari.
There are also reports that the i8S will feature plenty of bespoke parts, including lots of carbon fiber and a chassis that uses plenty of aluminum materials. The new i8S is also tipped to feature a more comprehensively integrated architecture that could lead to a more aggressive design than the current i8 and a stronger suspension setup that could presumably handle the rigors of what could very well be a powerful hybrid engine.
This car opens up a world of new possibilities for BMW. For all of the things we love about the i8, it does have just 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. There’s still a lot of room there for improvement, something we’ll likely see with the I8S.
The Automobile Mag report goes on to indicate that BMW is testing two drivetrains in the i8S. One is a twin-turbo, 2.0-liter inline-four engine that produces 320 horsepower and an electric motor with 204 horses. The second drivetrain includes a 480-horse, 3.0-liter I-6 and a 109-horsepower electric motor. No matter which drivetrain BMW chooses for the production model, the i8S will have more than 500 horses to play with.
Also included in the report is the claim that the i8S will include a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The i8S is expected to top out at 155 mph and sprint to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
Note: Standard BMW i8 pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8s.
BMW arguably has one of the most extensive lineups in the auto industry these days. But there is one market where BMW is noticeably absent in. The German automaker currently doesn’t have a supercar to rival the Audi R8 and the Mercedes-AMG GT. The closest thing it has to that is the BMW i8. The problem is, the i8 isn’t really a supercar as much as it is a hybrid sports car dripping with all-world technology.
That hole is glaringly felt by BMW’s M Division, which is in charge of Bimmer’s performance line. BMW M’s Head of Product Development Carestein Priest recently told Auto Express that the sub-brand has had a long desire to build its own stand-alone supercar. But wanting to build one and actually getting the blessing to build one are two very different things.
Building a supercar involves investing a lot of money. Unfortunately, it’s money that BMW M understands is going to other projects deemed "more important" by upper management. Right now, a supercar isn’t a high priority, especially with the huge investments BMW already put in developing the i8 and the i3.
That’s the sacrifice BMW M has had to make, knowing full well that there’s no financial room for a supercar at the moment given the company’s decision to go full-steam ahead with the i division.
However, things could change in the future and BMW could one day decide that it needs a car that can match wits with the R8 and the GT. But don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, at least not until the German automaker creates enough financial flexibility to absorb the cost of building and developing a supercar.
Click past the jump to read more about a possible BMW M1.
If you aren’t familiar, Chris Harris is one of the better journalists out there. He’s made a name for himself by getting into arguments with Ferrari — and more importantly — destroying tires (or tyres since he’s English). The one thing that’s always great about a Chris Harris video review, is how well he can diagnose a car. He’s been in the game a long time and has driven everything from ancient, decrepit Citroen 2CV’s to hypercars like the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari. This makes him very diverse, and able to enjoy many different types of car, he doesn’t limit himself to old muscle cars with manual gearboxes or modern high-tech sports cars with all the newest of gadgets. He simply enjoys cars for what they are, he’s a proper gearhead (or petrolhead because again...English). So when he put out this video driving the i8, I payed attention.
The i8 is a technological powerhouse, using technologies and techniques not available on anything in its price range. It has a mid-mounted, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine, making 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 129-horsepower electric motor to make a combined power out put of 362 ponies. The benefit of electric power is the instantaneous torque, and when combined with the turbo three-banger, the i8 produces a whopping 420 pound-feet of it. All this is sent through a variation of the six-speed auto in the new Mini Cooper (the engine is also carried over from the Mini), and delivered to all four wheels.
The chassis of the i8 is a monocoque tub made from CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), so it’s incredibly light for a hybrid with big heavy batteries. The i8 weighs only 3,378 pounds. This makes it heavier than both the Corvette Stingray (3,298 pounds) and the Porsche 911 Carrera (3,042 pounds), but since the chassis is made out of CFRP and the batteries are laid out down the spine of the car, it feels much lighter and more nimble than it’s weight would suggest. This is also aided by the fact that it has that 420 pound-feet of torque from almost the second you touch the accelerator. In the video Chris explains how it doesn’t feel as pure and organic as a 911 but it’s close, and with all of the new technologies, it brings new exciting elements to the table.
Then there’s the look of the thing. To these eyes it’s the most interesting looking car on the road today, if not the most beautiful. This gives the Jag F-Type a run for it’s money. It’s not beautiful in the classic sense, but it is stunning in a modern art sort of way. It looks like the future, and it sort of is. Sports cars need to become fuel efficient nowadays and the new i Division cars are paving the way for that green future. I’m not a fan of electric cars but this one has me intrigued and it intrigues Chris as well. Real gearheads can appreciate when something is new and innovative, when it pushes the ball forward, and that’s exactly what you see here in the i8 and exactly what Chris talks about while driving it. Watch the video, it won’t disappoint.
Happy Thursday, welcome back to the TopSpeed Podcast.
This week’s show includes talks about Justin’s time with the BMW 435i, Mark’s experience with the Toyota Avalon, and I talk about the insanity that was the American leg of the Gumball 3000.
We continue the supercar talk with Mark’s take on the American trio of Viper, Corvette and Z/28, and you get to hear our thoughts on the crazy diesel powered BMW X6 M50d.
We also spend some talking about the tragic events surrounding the injury of comedian Tracy Morgan, and we talk about just what GM’s "Zora" trademark could mean for the future of Corvette.
After all that, we give our answers to your questions and no episode of the TopSpeed Podcast would be complete without Own, Drive, Burn. This week features a trio of classic muscle.
If there is something special you want to see us talk about, drop us an email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com, hit us up on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast — we follow back – or leave us a comment below.
We want to send out an extra-special thank you to those of you who watched our shenanigans live earlier today. Have a safe weekend, and we will see you next Thursday.
***We will start this party at approximately 0945 US EASTERN TIME***
Ladies and Gentleman, you are invited to join us for a special early-week TopSpeed Podcast. The best part? It is totally live. Feel free to click the play button on the YouTube video to hang out with us; you can even chat and comment live to give us feedback and ask us questions.
I know the show is a few days early, but I have a special announcement to make. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it involves lots of horsepower and an epic road trip. You have to watch to see what the announcement is.
Beyond the special announcement, we are going to talk about Justin’s drive of the new 4-Series, the new McLaren P13 GT and the future of solar powered roads.
Mark is also going to regale us with tales of his time with the Chrysler Town & Country, and then we plan on discussing the changed coming to the 2015 Nissan Frontier and then we plan on covering the crazy Hyundai Veloster Midship Concept.
We may have another piece of news or two, and of course we will have viewer questions, and a round of Own, Drive, Burn.
Click that play button and hang out!
The guys over at Petrolicious just got their hands on a beautiful 1980 BMW M1 coated in a wonderful red paint and looking as pristine as the day it rolled from BMW’s factory. It’s owner, Mike Ura, bought the car in 2009 from its original owner with only 12,500 miles on the clock. Today, Mike regularly takes the car for spirited drives on the road and hard track time on a local circuit located just outside Austin, Texas.
As the story goes, BMW wanted to re-enter the Group 4 racing series. In order to do so, the automaker needed a production car with at least 400 units produced in order to race. So the German automaker teamed up with famed Italian steed builder Lamborghini to build the car. However, as time went on, Lamborghini found itself in hard financial times. With the slowed pace of an ailing car company and reworked regulations and specifications surrounding the racing series, full production of the M1 was no longer needed. Only 456 were ever built.
The M1 is powered by a 3.5-liter, straight-six engine with a dry sump oil system, six separate throttle bodies, four valves per cylinder, and a Kugelfischer mechanical fuel-injection system. The inline-six produced 273 horsepower and gave the car a top speed of roughly 162 mph. The mill’s beautiful architecture only added to the M1’s uniqueness as the only mid-engine car BMW produced.
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.