Report: BMW M’s product development chief talks about SLS competitor and more

2008 BMW M1 ConceptSupercars really have never been BMW’s forte. The last one they ever made was the Lamborghini-collaboration, the M1, which obtained instant cult status and unfortunately was an instant bust from the get-go. And since then, the only few cars to even come close to being BMW supercars were the 1992-1996 E31 850CSi, the E52 1999-2003 BMW Z8 and the 2005-2010 BMW E63/E64 M6.

BMW had attempted to make an all-out supercar out of the E31 BMW 8-Series, dubbed the “M8.” However, due to the slow sales of the 8-Series and the costs of putting the model into production, BMW didn’t think there was a market for such a car and pulled the plug, leaving the one and only prototype in the pages of history—and their own museum.

Since then, rumors have popped up about a new 8-Series flagship that would pose as a supercar for the Munich brand. However, they only remained rumors. Now though, supposedly BMW’s M-Division wants to make its own model to combat the Mercedes-Benz SLS. Could this lead to another potential 8-Series or M1 rumor?

Mercedes-Benz’s AMG branch had decided to make their own model with the help of their parent company, which spawned the SLS. And BMW M-Division’s chief of product development, Albert Biermann, said in an interview that he’d like to see BMW follow in AMG’s wake. However, Biermann also added that BMW isn’t convinced that such an idea would make a valid business case.

“From an engineering perspective, we have the skills and we’d love to do it,” said Biermann. “We’ve discussed it several times but we’ve never been able to make the business case. Everything we do has to make money.”

As a backup Biermann added in his interview that he’s trying to convince BMW to allow the M-Division to reinstate the Z4 M lineup, which featured the Z4 M-Roadster and M-Coupe in the last generation.

“There are days when it hurts not to have one but there was no business case at the time when the decision was taken. We are trying to make a case but there are so many factors to consider,” Biermann said. “Our job is to sell emotion and fun using the technology that’s socially acceptable at the time. Whether that’s a combustion engine or an electric motor, we don’t care.”

In his closing remarks, Biermann commented on the rumor of a diesel powered M-car: “We’d never say never if the technology becomes available, but right now we don’t have the diesel technology to match the responsiveness of the new M5.”

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoCar

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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