BMW M Boss Confirms M's Getting a Standalone Model
That's quite the tease, but it's a strong suggestion that this will be like nothing else BMW currently offers.
BMW’s M division has put out dozens of models over the years, ranging from the ultra low production original homologation-special M3 to full volume-production cars like the M550i. In the 47 years of M, though, there has only been a single model that was M through and through. But that might change, says M boss Markus Flasch.
“Standalone M cars are obviously something that my team likes to work on,” Flasch told Top Gear Magazine. But then again who wouldn’t like to work on those projects. However, it’s not something that M has put to production since the M1 of 1978-1987. A fact that’s clearly on the exec’s mind. What’s new now, is the status of work on a new M car. “We have some very concrete plans for something new,” Flasch said.
The original M1 was a mid-engine car, BMW’s first, that was sold from 1978-1981. It used a 3.5L inline six that generated 273 hp. It was intended to be a homologation special for sports car racing, assembled by Lamborghini. Though it didn’t do much racing, and Lamborghini went broke and bailed before it was finished.
What are the plans for the new car? “It’s too early to talk about propulsion,” he said, “but a brand new model without a predecessor is more suitable than a model with a predecessor.” That’s quite the tease, but it’s a strong suggestion that this will be like nothing else BMW currently offers. Possibly the Vision M Next that BMW showed off earlier this year.
Does that statement rule out electrification? Flasch has said before that M will eventually produce EVs, but will this car be it? “We are working on electrified combustion and we are working on fully electric cars, but we will only bring those options to customers when they offer an advantage in terms of character, in terms of performance,” Flasch said. “We won’t do it just to be first on the market with a particular type of powertrain. That’s not what our customers are after.”
Will it be a new halo car, something like the AMG One or the Aston Valkyrie? Sounds like that’s a no. “It’s a fascinating idea as we have a lot of competitive engineers, so a halo car is always a thrilling idea. But M is so strong “2019 will be our best year of sales ever ” the brand doesn’t need a halo car. Business- and image-wise I’m a little bit mixed about if this is necessary. I like the idea, but it needs to do a job,” Flasch said.
We’re sure that whatever vehicle ends up as a stand-alone M, it will generate serious buzz. EV or not. But the M1-like (with a hint of BMW i) M Next would certainly look good alongside the latest M3 or M5.
Source:Top Gear Magazine