A flagship supercar for BMW‘s M division is “very exciting” but not likely.
That is the opinion of Carsten Pries, Head of Product Management for BMW’s M Division.
“Both strategy wise and engineering wise this is certainly a lucrative proposition,” he said when asked about the possibility of a ground-up M model to compete with the Mercedes AMG GT during an interview at the Detroit Motor Show. “If you look at the BMW brand overall the i8 does a phenomenal job to showcase what BMW is capable of, how innovative we are, what technological competence there is to take a low roof gullwing sports car to the next level.”
But would an M8 or similar car overshadow an i8. Possibly, said Pries, hinting that it might not make commercial sense either. Instead, he suggests it may be better to stick with just the i8 while BMW M is, “concentrating on other segments that potentially have an even higher relevance.”
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“We always have more ideas than resources,” he said, indicating that only so many projects can be completed and that the most valuable ones for the brand and for BMW’s profit margins need to take priority.
“Yes, we know these [halo car] projects are highly emotional and very exciting for everyone involved, but you also have to consider carefully if that’s priority number one, or if there are other areas where you want to put your money and resources that you have available.”
Pries then outlined his intention to target more affordable and higher volume segments. He mentioned the M135i which is available in other markets and which, he said, has been “hugely successful.”
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Cars like these, he said, “Clearly give us an indication of how much demand there is to go up from a top model BMW model into the exclusive products of BMW M. Customers say ‘I want even more of this very emotional experience,’ and they ideally end up with an M Sport and then an M core model.”
BMW is currently developing a 1 Series sedan that will rival cars like the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3. Based on Pries’ comments, expect to see M Sport and perhaps even a full 1M model.
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