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      09-30-2012, 07:44 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
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.
No disagreement. Cost is the most significant factor, but as I mentioned previously factors related to luxury, prestige and cylinder count which demand V8s in certain vehicles are relevant. I think BMW believes that certain vehicles simply must have 8 cylinders to even sell. They obviously do not believe this is required for the new M3/4.

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
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.
No I don't, I could probably make some reasonable estimates but it would take some work (actually found some information see next post...). A key point though is that the base 3er engine will share much in common with the M3/M4 engine. Much of the development work is already done! It it through this huge increase in volume that the part costs are driven way down, providing an engine of immensely lower cost than a model specific engine produced in very low quantities, say about 20k engines/year. The 3er volume is more like 400k/year. Do you see some immense cost savings in that kind of volume? If not you do not understand the

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
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.
Sure there will be variation but a rod is a rod is a rod and similarly for a piston. Thus component count strongly correlates with entire assembly count. Furthermore each component requires time to assemble and and reduction in time means lower cost. Lastly is weight when displacement and cylinder count are lower the engine weight will be smaller thus raw materials will cost less and raw material is also a big part of manufacturing cost. All of these contribute to why a 4 cylinder is less expensive than a 6 and similarly a 6 vs. an 8 (again in a similar design at similar volumes).

There is simply no debate that a very high volume turbo I6 will cost less to produce than a similar turbo V8.

There is also no debate that an engine being produced to the tune of 400k/year will be less expensive than 20k/year.

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
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 was very easy to develop as it is absolutely the S85 with two cylinders lopped off. The S85 was indeed expensive to develop and to manufacture. The S65 was similarly expensive to manufacture. The very existence of such special motors as these indicate the changing philosophy of BMW M. That just can't be denied.

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
"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...
Uhhh, see charts above again on the major BMW material cost "offensive" and how common subsystems will be saving them money. How is the M3/M3 sharing much in common with a base 3er NOT an example of this?

If you think that there costs, specifically cost of their engine, are either staying flat or going up that is pure absurdity.

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
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.
I'm beating a dead horse here. BMW M is becoming a different type of company. M brand dilution, Efficient Dynamics (for BMW M), less special engines, forced induction, etc. are all driven by less R&D (again see charts above) and more profit. BMW is not only increasing their sales and production volumes but they are increasing their profit as a percentage of revenue!

Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
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.
It is simple to oversimplify and that is what you are doing with the statements above.

If you think BMW M of 2015 is or will be the same as BMW M of 2000 either in terms of R&D, cost structure or key philosophies you are just wrong.

As BMRLVR points out should we really be surprised that companies are primarily driven by profit? Time to stop the romance...
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