Don’t Expect BMW To Build Stand-Alone Rival To Merc’s AMG GT
It’s the AMG GT and the Audi R8 for (traditional) German sports car supremacyby Kirby, on
The Mercedes-AMG GT and the Audi R8 will have to be content slugging at each other because BMW has no plans to enter the fray and turn it into a triple threat donnybrook. Yep. Start the mourning process because BMW’s long-rumored plans to develop its own stand-alone coupe or supercar has been sent to the grave. Goodbye, BMW M8. The speculation was fun while it lasted.
No less than Dr. Ian Robertson, BMW’s group director of sales and marketing, shot down the possibility of BMW bringing a stand-alone supercar to go up against the AMG GT and the R8. Turns out, the automaker’s M Division already has its hands full with the current range of models it has on its plate. Simply put, in the words of Dr. Robertson himself, “M is simply too busy.”
So for those like who have been waiting for any sort of confirmation pertaining the to the status of the M8, it appears that our prayers were not answered. The 1981 M1 will continue on as the last stand-alone sports car that BMW has had in its lineup.
That said, glass-half-full types can take solace knowing that in BMW’s mind, it already has a stand-alone sports car in the BMW i8. It’s admittedly a long ways from competing with the AMG GT or the R8, although Dr. Robertson cautioned that making such comparisons would be unfair to the i8, largely because the coupe is a “completely new interpretation of sports cars.”
The reassuring words are nice, and Dr. Robertson’s point about the i8 is valid, to a certain degree. But it still doesn’t make up for the settling reality that we’re not going to see a stand-alone BMW sports cars that can go toe-to-toe against the AMG GT and the R8, On that front, it appears that BMW is more than content to sit on the sidelines and let Mercedes-AMG and Audi duke it out by themselves.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
So much for that, huh?
It’s disappointing to hear Dr. Ian Robertson, as plugged-in to BMW’s affairs as anybody, say that the German automaker isn’t planning on competing against Mercedes-AMG and Audi in the sports car/supercar segment. Personally, I understand the reason that Dr. Robertson mentioned. BMW’s M Division just has too many things on its plate now that it wouldn’t have the time to really commit and focus on building a sports car that can compete against the AMG GT and R8. I get it. The company just has higher priorities right now and it wouldn’t be fair to anybody if it proceeded with the development of a sports car without having the kind of commitment that car deserved.
But even with that reason, it doesn’t soften the sting that comes with knowing that BMW is effectively leaving Mercedes-AMG and Audi to engage in their own personal sports car battle. It’s unbecoming of the German automaker in some respects. I mean, BMW should be in this battle even if it’s for nothing but pride and glory.
But again, I get it. The business side of things should take precedence over romanticizing any kind of battle between BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. And if we’re going to be fair, Mercedes and Audi had motivation to develop their own performance cars, even if a part of that motivation was spurred by vanity.
BMW apparently does not have that same motivation because its focus is on something much bigger than just one sports car. That much I can understand, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I’m still holding up hope for a BMW stand-alone sports car down the road. And for what that’s worth, I don’t think I’m the only one with that sentiment.
Read our full review on the BMW M8 here.
Source: Motoring Australia