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      09-12-2019, 10:23 AM   #1
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BMW M CEO Teases the Idea of Standalone M Sports Car but Rules Out Halo Car

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Speaking to Top Gear, BMW M boss Markus Flasch seems to hint at a dedicated BMW M sports car in the works.
While this is certainly exciting news, the M boss was also quick to shoot down any speculation of a halo car or hypercar at the close of the conversation.

“Standalone M cars are obviously something that my team likes to work on,” says Flasch. “It wouldn’t be the first time; we did it with the M1 many years ago. We have some very concrete plans for something new.”




It's natural to expect that the formula of the new car would follow that of the renowned M1 with a mid-engined, two seater setup. But the M boss is keeping his options open.

“Not necessarily,” says Flasch of the mid-engined & two-seats formula. “That’s an option. But it’s not the only option.”

Expectations should be similar with the powertrain in that BMW M is not necessarily looking to history for the answer, but rather the future.

“We are working on electrified combustion and we are working on fully electric cars, but we will only bring those options to customers when they offer an advantage in terms of character, in terms of performance. We won’t do it just to be first on the market with a particular type of powertrain. That’s not what our customers are after.”

When it comes to powertrain, BMW M has already announced the strategy of heading towards eventual electrification of its cars.
It's reasonable to expect a hybrid powertrain, although it's still too early in the stage to commit or confirm a specific powertrain.

“It’s too early to talk about propulsion,” he says when we wager that halo car might be electric-powered, “but a brand new model without a predecessor is more suitable than a model with a predecessor.”



BMW had previously said in the past that there was to be no overlap between BMW i and BMW M with respect to the i8 platform.
While this will continue to hold true for the i8 until it bows out, BMW M and BMW i are currently cooperating at a much closer level.

“We have never worked on the i8,” says Flasch, “but the i and M divisions are in constant interaction, we meet a minimum of once a week and there are no dogmas or taboos between us. We share thinking.”

When asked about why BMW M isn't going head-to-head with the AMG One (i.e., a halo car/hypercar), Flasch rules out the necessity for an AMG One competitor.
“It’s a fascinating idea as we have a lot of competitive engineers, so a halo car is always a thrilling idea. But M is so strong – 2019 will be our best year of sales ever – the brand doesn’t need a halo car. Business- and image-wise I’m a little bit mixed about if this is necessary. I like the idea, but it needs to do a job.”

________________________________________

This news follows continuing developments on BMW's implementation of electrified technologies in BMW M vehicles.

In 2016, BMW executive Ian Robertson said that BMW was open towards electrified, hybrid M-cars.
In 2017, BMW M's then CEO Frank Van Meel spoke of pure electric M-cars as inevitable in the future, with hybrid powertrains being available during the transitional period.
In early 2019, head of BMW i Robert Irlinger and M CEO Markus Flasch confirmed cooperation between BMW i and M in electrification technology. Flasch addressed concerns by promising to keep M car character despite electrification.



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      09-12-2019, 11:40 AM   #2
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He remains cryptic, but this

Quote:
It's natural to expect that the formula of the new car would follow that of the renowned M1 with a mid-engined, two seater setup. But the M boss is keeping his options open.

“Not necessarily,” says Flasch of the mid-engined & two-seats formula. “That’s an option. But it’s not the only option.”
sounds suspiciously to me like they are working on a CLAR-based vehicle rather than a vehicle which tries to reuse the best parts from the i8 architecture. I certainly hope this is not the case. CLAR is great for sedans and SUVs, but we have already seen its limitations being reached with the 8 Series Coupe being a very heavy vehicle that, while great looking, is not ideally suited for the type of dynamics M should be trying to achieve with a flagship model (the M8).

Perhaps (hopefully) Flasch is being coy, and it is the word "engine" that he means to temper his statement against. In other words, if they intend to go with a pure BEV, there would be no engine, but instead a dual (or triple, or quadruple) motor EV which might still be a two seater with a cab forward design, built on an architecture loosely derived from the i8.
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      09-12-2019, 12:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
He remains cryptic, but this

sounds suspiciously to me like they are working on a CLAR-based vehicle rather than a vehicle which tries to reuse the best parts from the i8 architecture. I certainly hope this is not the case. CLAR is great for sedans and SUVs, but we have already seen its limitations being reached with the 8 Series Coupe being a very heavy vehicle that, while great looking, is not ideally suited for the type of dynamics M should be trying to achieve with a flagship model (the M8).

The Supra and Z4 are built on the CLAR platform and aren't necessarily heavy with many journalists claiming that the Supra is the best BMW right now. Whatever platform this car is car is built on, it will be a performer if the chassis is designed from the bottom up to do so like the Supra and Z4. You can only modify a commuter car chassis so much which is what holds back a lot of performance oriented models
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      09-12-2019, 12:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super51fan View Post
The Supra and Z4 are built on the CLAR platform and aren't necessarily heavy with many journalists claiming that the Supra is the best BMW right now. Whatever platform this car is car is built on, it will be a performer if the chassis is designed from the bottom up to do so like the Supra and Z4. You can only modify a commuter car chassis so much which is what holds back a lot of performance oriented models
That's a fair point, but those are small vehicles - similar in size to a 2 Series. I am skeptical that this standalone M product will be a similarly compact class of vehicle. So you start with a larger, heavier unibody to begin with and then you also add the additional weight of a hybrid or pure electric drive system that a Z4 does not have. It really begins to add up.

You can build compelling performance vehicles on CLAR, I agree. But for a flagship product that is presumably meant to push the envelope (with a price tag reflecting that), starting with a purpose built body cell is the approach that typically results in the products that enthusiasts get the most excited about.
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      09-12-2019, 12:54 PM   #5
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An electric M car, yawn.
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      09-12-2019, 01:00 PM   #6
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I'm starting to think these hideous grills they're forcing on us are a precursor to nothing but hideously ugly electric cars coming in the future. They're giving us a shot of the nasty now to ease the pain later on. It's the only thing I can think of when it comes to the current BMW styling.

It's a good thing they have competition with plenty of other manufacturer's product to choose from!
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      09-12-2019, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post

In other words, if they intend to go with a pure BEV, there would be no engine, but instead a dual (or triple, or quadruple) motor EV which might still be a two seater with a cab forward design, built on an architecture loosely derived from the i8.
Quote:
Originally Posted by omasou View Post
An electric M car, yawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
I'm starting to think these hideous grills they're forcing on us are a precursor to nothing but hideously ugly electric cars coming in the future. They're giving us a shot of the nasty now to ease the pain later on. It's the only thing I can think of when it comes to the current BMW styling.

It's a good thing they have competition with plenty of other manufacturer's product to choose from!
BMW has implied that the overall strategy for the electrification of BMW M is to first go through a transitional adoption of hybrid drivetrains.

This has been an ongoing discussion as of late and we may also refer to comments that BMW made 6 months ago in this thread where Flasch still mentions an emphasis on character and Robert Irlinger (Head of BMW i) mentioned benefits of a hybrid setup.

Based on that, if this project does come into fruition, whether through something like the Vision M Next or something else, a hybrid setup is still entirely plausible.
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      09-12-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
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Many questions vs. only one molten answer:

My oppinion of the interview.
-> ONLY WHEN DAIMLER JUMP FIRST OF A HIGH BRIDGE - THEN WE JUMP TOO...

Not the best tactic for a global company!

the most powerful letter in the world implement something else
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      09-12-2019, 06:31 PM   #9
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[Top Gear]:BMW has confirmed a standalone M Division sports car

Quote:
By: Stephen Dobie12 Sep 2019

Hints get no more teasing, but apparently we haven’t long to wait to see the fruits of his team’s labour, and there have been previous suggestions the wild Vision M Next might make production. Which makes it more interesting to learn that M Division didn’t once dabble with the soon-to-die i8 hybrid sports car.

Good news! BMW’s M Division is working on a standalone model. Potentially less good news! It won’t be a full-strength hypercar halo like Mercedes-AMG’s One, and it might even be electric.

“Standalone M cars are obviously something that my team likes to work on,” says M boss Markus Flasch. “It wouldn’t be the first time; we did it with the M1 many years ago. We have some very concrete plans for something new.”

We naturally wager it has two seats and a mid-mounted engine, just like that glorious old M1. “Not necessarily,” says Flasch. “That’s an option. But it’s not the only option.”

Likewise there’s a host of powertrain options available, especially as Flasch has been so open that M Division will eventually produce fully electric cars, with a hybrid stepping stone in the middle.

“We are working on electrified combustion and we are working on fully electric cars, but we will only bring those options to customers when they offer an advantage in terms of character, in terms of performance. We won’t do it just to be first on the market with a particular type of powertrain. That’s not what our customers are after.”

“It’s too early to talk about propulsion,” he says when we wager that halo car might be electric-powered, “but a brand new model without a predecessor is more suitable than a model with a predecessor.”

“We have never worked on the i8,” says Flasch, “but the i and M divisions are in constant interaction, we meet a minimum of once a week and there are no dogmas or taboos between us. We share thinking.”

So why not a full-bore rival to the AMG One? “It’s a fascinating idea as we have a lot of competitive engineers, so a halo car is always a thrilling idea. But M is so strong – 2019 will be our best year of sales ever – the brand doesn’t need a halo car. Business- and image-wise I’m a little bit mixed about if this is necessary. I like the idea, but it needs to do a job.”

Ideas time, Internet. What form would you like M’s standalone car to take?
https://www.topgear.com/car-news/ele...ion-sports-car
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      09-12-2019, 07:38 PM   #10
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If M is so strong why does it seem there are more people than ever switching brands?
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      09-12-2019, 07:41 PM   #11
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If M is so strong why does it seem there are more people than ever switching brands?
I'm no statistician but "seems" doesn't sound like it's based on actual stats at all. Or do you have sales stats that only BMW M CEO has access to?
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      09-12-2019, 07:45 PM   #12
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I wish they would build mid engine with electric power. Before they completely switch to EV
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      09-12-2019, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
I'm starting to think these hideous grills they're forcing on us are a precursor to nothing but hideously ugly electric cars coming in the future. They're giving us a shot of the nasty now to ease the pain later on. It's the only thing I can think of when it comes to the current BMW styling.

It's a good thing they have competition with plenty of other manufacturer's product to choose from!
I'm really hoping their over exaggerating with the grills so when they release the production version (albeit still big but doable) we'll be more accepting to it.
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      09-12-2019, 07:54 PM   #14
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A true marketer. “I like the idea, but it needs to do a job.”
Couldn’t say it better. Is the AMG One an authentication of the brand, does it help position MB in the future, increase the health? If BMW is hitting sales records and they think the X3/4M is going to be the best sellers, why move R&D.
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      09-12-2019, 07:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I'm no statistician but "seems" doesn't sound like it's based on actual stats at all. Or do you have sales stats that only BMW M CEO has access to?
It's strange to me as a forum moderator you edited your comment from neutral to an offensive statement. Do you see how there was a question mark at the end of my statement? As in...it was a question.
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      09-12-2019, 08:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
He remains cryptic, but this



sounds suspiciously to me like they are working on a CLAR-based vehicle rather than a vehicle which tries to reuse the best parts from the i8 architecture. I certainly hope this is not the case. CLAR is great for sedans and SUVs, but we have already seen its limitations being reached with the 8 Series Coupe being a very heavy vehicle that, while great looking, is not ideally suited for the type of dynamics M should be trying to achieve with a flagship model (the M8).

Perhaps (hopefully) Flasch is being coy, and it is the word "engine" that he means to temper his statement against. In other words, if they intend to go with a pure BEV, there would be no engine, but instead a dual (or triple, or quadruple) motor EV which might still be a two seater with a cab forward design, built on an architecture loosely derived from the i8.
The 8 series is heavy because it is a luxury GT car. CLAR also underpins the M3/M4, Supra, and Z4.
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      09-12-2019, 08:02 PM   #17
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M is "so strong" for 2019 because of all the m performance cars are now lumped into m sales figures, no?
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      09-12-2019, 08:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The 8 series is heavy because it is a luxury GT car. CLAR also underpins the M3/M4, Supra, and Z4.
Yep. See my follow-up post.
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      09-12-2019, 08:13 PM   #19
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This car is hella ugly and looks nothing like a BMW.

I have to wonder why Audi, Mercedes, and even Lexus have launched a number of halo exotic sports cars over the decades but BMW hasn't. And no the wimpy i8 doesn't count.
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      09-12-2019, 08:53 PM   #20
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Halo car is an entity that wholly shows the technological advancement of the brand; it would be very odd to the public if they were to release any "hypercar" at this moment without having achieved top position at renowned racing series like F1 or Le Mans.

The industry has come a long way since the pure ICE era and BMW is certainly not at the apex of the game.
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      09-12-2019, 09:12 PM   #21
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      09-12-2019, 09:30 PM   #22
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Bmw needs a dedicated sports car to compete with Mercedes and Cirvette and 911 etc. They're sort of getting flak for the 8 being big, not because it's slow but because it's technically outside of regulations and competes on a waiver.

My guess is a dedicated M car would be designed with GT3 homologation in mind to go directly with the AMG-GT
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