Originally Posted by swamp2
Focusing on R&D instead of production is the exact reason why you would come to an incorrect conclusion about the TOTAL cost the engine choice.
swamp, you may have missed my second post above - I absolutely did address the production costs.
The bottom line is that no matter what costs we are talking about, having two engines that provide the same power output is going to cost more than having just one. I don't think that point is really up for debate. It is elementary.
So, do you know how much these engines we are discussing cost to produce? Do you at least have relative figures, or estimates based on some hard data? If not I don't know how much sense it makes to debate that particular issue further.
Also the I6 will have less components then a similar FI V8. We are not talking a bit more production here but orders of magnitude more for the shared engine components spread among a great deal of cars including some of the base 3ers, BMWs highest volume vehicle.
The component count alone cannot be used as a basis to determine the relative costs of two engines (or any two manufactured goods). Quantities produced plays a huge role as well. Obviously the M engine, which will only be used in the M3/M4, at least for the near term, is going to see much smaller numbers than a V8 which is used in multiple models, and will be added to others soon (5 Series, X5, X6). Thus it is not a simple matter to determine the least expensive engine.
Again the I6 was chosen as the LEAST expensive solution that met the power and efficiency requirements, period.
And if that's true for the M3/M4, then it is true for all other BMW models too. Surely. So then, if the I6 wins on cost and efficiency alone
, then logically it must be slated to replace the V8 as well. No other conclusion makes sense given your hypothesis.
And yet I'd all but guarantee that the I6 will not replace the V8. I'd put money on it in fact. So, if you allow yourself to believe the same then you must also admit that there are other factors at play here. And those factors, as I mention earlier, relate to marketing and branding concerns such as exclusivity and buyer perception. After all, BMW has been building M engines since the very inception of the brand which overlap in function with engines in their normal series vehicles. This is not likely to change any time soon in my opinion - but if it did you better believe that it would save BMW a heap of money. And that is why I cannot agree that a bespoken M engine is the cheapest route, nor for that matter do I believe that the development of the S65 and S85 were the cheapest way for BMW to get to the current generation 414hp M3 and last generation 500hp M5.
The S65 did not receive further developments because of cost - sure. We all know that. But when you make statements like this one:
"It absolutely is not the Government(s) that are causing BMW to majorly change engine platforms in M cars. It is higher profit through much higher part commonality."
You lose credibility in my eyes because you have never once demonstrated with hard numbers that it would be possible to produce a 450hp S65 that would lead to any profit whatsoever. In fact it may have led to a loss which easily disqualifies it from consideration. You have no proof that this is not the case, and the "it's all about money" argument falls flat for the reasons I stated above.
Furthermore, you seem to suggest BMW will be more profitable using an N55 based solution for the M3, but if that is the case then why did they ever move to the S65 and S85 to begin with? They had been successfully building engines based on series engine architecture from the beginning. Did they suddenly decide back in 2000 or so that they didn't want to be as profitable as they had been in the past? It doesn't add up.
To my trained eye, M Division is doing exactly what they have been doing all along - building special cars for enthusiasts based on their more pedestrian products for the masses, and with a good deal of major changes and upgrades to accomplish that goal. There is no fundamental difference this time around, and there is no new focus on money grabbing vs. providing a product that is true to the brand.