BMW M Wants a Supercar, but it’s Not in the Budget
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.
Why It Matters
It’s purely a business move, which is something we all have to respect, even if some of us don’t necessarily agree with it. You can’t blame BMW for taking this approach because the i division clearly has its purpose; it’s not like the company just woke up and decided to invest billions in a division it doesn’t believe will succeed.
The only thing we can do at this point is be patient. It would be great to see the German automaker shifts its plans and decide to join the R8 and the GT in a three-way battle royale for German-supercar supremacy, but if it can’t make a good business case for it, then what’s the point.
There will always be questions about this, a lot of which are justified, but at the end of the day, it’s still business and if BMW thinks that there’s no money to be made from a supercar, then it’s within its rights to lay back from building one.
The BMW M1 is arguably the BMW model that came closest to being described as a supercar. It wasn’t classified as such when its first incarnation arrived in the late-1970s and early-1980s, but it did have the profile of one.
Then in 2008, BMW unveiled the M1 Hommage Concept, creating hope that it just might be ready to bring the M1 back and more importantly, enter a supercar market that it hasn’t been involved in for years.
Though it’s been six years and counting since the debut of the M1 Hommage Concept, a lot of people continue holding out to hope that BMW still has plans to bring the M1 back. Rumors have circulated about this happening, but at the end of the day, nothing concrete ever came out from all the speculation.
There was even one rumor that BMW already chose a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 engine for the "new M1," producing 600 to 650 horsepower.
None of these rumors have materialized, which is as good an indication as any that BMW isn’t planning to build one anytime soon. Fingers crossed it changes soon.