BMW is again considering developing a new high-performance sports car of some sort, something to slot above the current BMW i8 and the upcoming Z4 roadster and new 8 Series. The issue is that the execs just don’t know why they would need to. Here’s a few good reason of why they need to, damn it.
Speaking to Autocar at the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW Vice President Dirk Hacker said the idea of developing a new supercar or high-performance sports car above the upcoming 8 Series is yet again fresh in the minds of the company. The only issue they’re having is coming up for a solid reason to do something inventive, fun, invigorating and exciting like that. There has to be logic!
We’ll I’ve got a few good reasons. The first one is a classic approach at branding. Everybody complains about how BMW has lost its edge. The M3 and M4 just don’t cut it anymore, and now that there’s an M-Sport everything, the fans seems to think the brand has been too diluted. By taking the fight directly to competitors like Mercedes, who now has its own Project One supercar coming soon, and Audi with its R8, would maybe make the performance edge of the BMW brand just that much sharper. What need is there for a BMW supercar? How about the need to keep up with the competition?
Another good reason to build a high-performance car would be to advance the image of BMW, and the rest of the lineup to follow. Sure, there’s the i8, but that’s not branded as an M-car. It’s an i-car, and even BMW still isn’t sure what the fuck exactly that even means. It’s a great drive, a generous GT cruiser, but it’s no supercar, and the company doesn’t seem interested in developing it beyond its current performance level.
So how about you just make a M-branded supercar with some sort of hybrid or electric technology? We’re already getting hybrid 3 Series models, and soon enough some fully-electric vanilla BMWs. Electrification is an area Audi outright failed at with the R8, so it could even provide an edge over the competition. Advancing the brand, there’s your second “need.”
A third reason, which is even touched on by Hacker in the Autocar interview, is that BMW is entering Formula E, and will likely only get more and more involved with that racing series as it expands and evolves. If BMW’s sports cars have always been the jewel of the crown for accessible BMW motorsport, why not throw a bone to the Formula E team and develop a super cool road car? Then the brand might actually get something decent out of Formula E beyond “batteries,” after all.
I know BMW’s people don’t need me to tell them anything. The company is clearly Very Good at Making A Lot Of Money on its own. They just need to make sure they can compete, and get better at lying about not having a reason to do so. Maybe it’s just fear of trying to follow up the M1. That is something they should be afraid of.