BMW Eyeing Hybrid Rival To Porsche 911
Prospective sports car could be tipped to have 500 horsepowerby Kirby Garlitos, on
A company as big as BMW will always be in the rumor mill with regards to what new model it’s cooking up or what current model is going to get discounted. That’s always been the case for the German automaker, and from the looks of things, the rumors aren’t going to go away anytime soon. The latest one is particularly interesting because it suggests a 6 Series model designed to rival the iconic Porsche 911.
To be fair, that rumor has been in the mill for quite some time, although it has come in different versions over the years. There was one back in 2014 that talked about the Toyota-BMW partnership giving birth to a range of mid-engined sports cars that would go up against the 911. It even gained a code name – Silk Road 2 – and reportedly had names of their own: BMW Z7 and Lexus ZC. Those rumors didn’t materialize the way they were presented, but this new buzz, which comes by way of Automobile Magazine, claims that BMW will slot in a 911-rival sports car within the 6 Series family to replace the departed 6 Series Cabriolet.
Not much is known about the car itself, but it does have a penciled name at the moment: 9 Series. Word also has it that the sports car will make use of the same CLAR architecture that will also be used to underpin the other members of the 6 family. The sports car is also reportedly getting a a 500-pound diet and will feature a hybrid powertrain that will be made up of a straight-six twin-turbo engine and a pair of “high-performance” electric motors. The estimate now is for the car to get a combined output of somewhere around 550 horsepower.
It remains to be seen if BMW will push forward with this plan given how many other models its currently producing. But as many models as BMW already has in the market today, a legitimate performance-oriented sports car that can take the fight to the Porsche 911 has to be high up on that list of priorities.
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Why it matters
When you think about the myriad of models that BMW has in its lineup, your going to come across a lot of sedans, SUVs, and coupes. The sedans and SUVs speak for themselves, but there is a lot of discussion on the kind of coupes it has. Sure, there’s the BMW M2, the M4, the M6, and the BMW i8. All three have their respective pros and cons but none of them are really up to par with something like the Porsche 911.
The M4 might come the closest in terms of looks while the M6 is right there in power, but neither really have the full package that can be considered as being a full-blown 900 fighter. The BMW 9 Series, if it does come to pass, could be that model.
There are a variety of reasons why this makes all the sense in the world of BMW. Having a halo performance model that can really compete against the 911 can establish Bimmer into a different atmosphere that it hasn’t had a real presence in the past years. Who knows? If the 9 Series ends up being as successful as BMW intends it to be, it could turn into a springboard that really launches BMW into the high-performance front. Should that time come, Porsche and perhaps the McLarens and Ferraris of the world might want to start looking over their shoulders.
Read our full review on the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept here.
Source: Automobile Magazine