BMW’s M Division is contemplating the possibility of making a stand-alone car that’s not based on any of BMW’s luxury vehicles.
It looks like BMW might be getting tired of rival Mercedes getting away with their own unique models without any of their own. Mercedes tuner division, AMG, has brought us the GT coupe and roadster and will eventually bring us the upcoming ONE hypercar. What does BMW have? Zilch.
But perhaps not for long. M Division head Markus Flasch went on the record with Australian car site Car Sales at the X3 M and X4 M launch party to discuss the possibility of high-performance cars that aren’t based on any of BMW’s existing chassis.
“We are investigating M variants that may also be stand-alone, that don’t have a predecessor,” said Flasch, adding that “more than one” concept is currently under development.
This is great news for BMW that hasn’t seen its own purpose-built supercar since the M1 in 1978. That’s not to say that BMW’s various M automobiles don’t possess the power and performance of a supercar, but they all have that same plain outer skin that tells you this is a very good car built out of what was once a very boring car.
The M1 was originally made to compete with Lamborghini and was even built by several former Lambo engineers that BMW just happened to find lying around on a stroll through Italy one day. A new version, called the M1 Homage, was made in 2008 but never got beyond the concept stage.
So far, we don’t have any details on what BMW might be building, but they seem particularly interested in making a hypercar.
“We would love to do it,” Flasch admitted, “but we are part of a big company and we only do things that make sense economically and are relevant for the brand. So far M is the strongest high-performance brand and we did not need a hypercar. So from a brand perspective it is not needed, M is strong as it is.
“Economically, hypercar projects are always difficult and so the prerequisites to turn such a project into reality are obviously very difficult, but I would not rule it out.”
It’s also possible that the folks at M will make a supercar out of the i8 hybrid sports coupe. Rumors began to circulate last year at the Paris Auto Show and so far haven’t been extinguished.
We’ll have to wait and see, of course, but a new M1 would be particularly exciting.