It has long been rumored that BMW was considering plans for a supercar to celebrate the brand’s centennial next year — rumors including shacking up with the likes of McLaren, Lexus, or even developing a super-i8. Well it looks like it isn’t happening, because BMW hates birthdays and wishes you would stop bringing it up.
Nobody likes getting older, but it’s usually different for a company who has been around for 100 years. That’s a big deal — you didn’t fuck it all up for an entire century! Well apparently BMW doesn’t have time to stop and celebrate, and there will be no party, and no presents, so no supercar.
According to the German publication Auto, Motor and Sport development chief Klaus Fröhlich crashed the party:
[Translated] Some decisions have already been taken: to the 100th anniversary is not a supercar. “A super sports car, with traditional heavy V8 or V10 engine, it will not give of BMW,” says development chief Klaus Fröhlich against auto motor und sport. This does not mean that the brand always denied this topic. Development goal is an electrified supercar, but should not “be rapidly becoming obsolete,” says Kruger made environment. The BMW-makers expect in the coming years, major leaps in battery technology that they would rather wait.
[Translation of translation] BMW has decided not to make a supercar for their 100th anniversary in 2016. “There are no plans for a supercar with a traditional V8 or V10 engine,” says developement chief Klaus Fröhlich to Auto Motor and Sport. Though, it was suggested this wasn’t always the case. The ultimate development goal is for an electrified supercar, but BMW doesn’t want to adapt a quickly-obsolete battery technology. BMW expects major leaps in battery technology in the next few years, and would rather wait.
With BMW working with Toyota on what is likely the next BMW Z4 - Toyota Supra project (which hasn’t been confirmed for development yet), rumors of a supercar birthed from BMW shadowing off of the Lexus LF-A successor made the most sense. The BMW supercar in said project was rumored to have a hybrid, mid-engine inline-six setup. That doesn’t quite align with the the comment by BMW’s head of development, but still appears to be a no-go.
Why? That rumored project followed BMW M-division boss Frank van Meel specifically stating that BMW wouldn’t have another range-topper to compete with the i8, originally killing the BMW-McLaren collaboration rumor.
Fröhlich’s new comments about BMW looking into an electric supercar over the next few years aligns with this, as new technology could lift the i8 to a new level either through the model itself or an “i8s” model, or even with the introduction of an all-new car. It appears they’re just waiting until the time is right, though I don’t know what BMW’s benchmark for prime battery capability may be, as automotive battery application tends to be a very fluidly-innovative technology — at some point you just have to make the damn thing.
If you want to get BMW something for the centennial, just buy an i8 or its new upcoming Spyder variant.
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