AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Not since the original 1978-81 M1 (shown) has BMW‘s performance division offered a bonafide supercar, yet as the performance envelope is pushed further with the division’s other offerings, the idea to launch a halo, bespoke model has been gaining traction.
Yet, despite enthusiasm from within the ranks of M division, including development boss Albert Biermann, it’s currently proving tough to convince management at BMW itself to green light such a project. Currently, the resources are available to build the car but it simply isn’t considered a profitable exercise especially given BMW’s current business strategy which requires that each model in the product portfolio make money.
“We have the skills and we’d love to do it,” Biermann said recently. “We’ve discussed it several times but [so far] we’ve never been able to make the business case.”
With the most powerful BMW M5 making its debut at Frankfurt last year, it was likely only a matter of time before it would be joined by an M6 counterpart.
Now, there’s confirmation that the next iteration of the potent 6-Series coupe (shown in regular form above) is indeed on its way, slated for introduction sometime this summer. Like the M5, the heart of the beast is a 4.4-liter twin turbo V8, rated at 552 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque.
Like its V10-powered predecessor, the new M6 will retain features such as a carbon fiber roof and body parts, yet in an attempt to reduce weight and improve dynamics, it will sport carbon-ceramic brakes and lightweight alloy wheels.
Although clearly designed to be an even more focused performer than the old M6, BMW insiders still maintain the new one is more of a highly capable Grand Tourer than all-out sports car.
“It’s still a car for daily use,” said one company spokesman. It’s just one that “is at home on the autobahn as it is at the Nürburgring.”
Look for the new M6 to gets its official reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in March, followed later in the year by a Cabriolet version.
GALLERY: BMW 6 Series
BMW will be expanding their M performance division by creating a new range of vehicles sold under the BMW M Performance Automobiles name. Set to be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, the BMW M Performance Automobiles will fill the gap between standard BMW cars and their high-performance M models.
All of the variants will be developed by BMW M engineers and BMW has plans to create variants for “a wide variety of model series, as well as both petrol and diesel-engined variants,” according to Friedrich Nitschke, BMW’s M chief. In addition, Nitschke emphasized that all-wheel drive will be prominent in the M Performance Automobiles.
It’s believed that the first two models to come from BMW M Performance Automobiles will be high-performance diesels, presumably equipped with the new tri-turbo, inline-six powerplant that has 376-hp and 546 lb-ft of torque. Rumors peg the M5 550d xDrive and the X6 M50d xDrive to be the badges those vehicles will sport.
We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don’t want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars,” said Nitschke.
Back in the early 1980s, a tradition began with the M535i which was built alongside BMW’s M5. “Our aim with the BMW M Performance Automobiles is to continue this tradition,” added Nitschke.