German firm could create a carbonfibre plug-in supercar in the future, although for the time being the priority is to grow the hybrid i sub-brand
Andrew Frankel Autocar
19 November 2014

The product boss of BMW's M performance division, Carsten Pries, has indicated a softening of BMW's stance towards building a junior supercar as a rival to the Audi R8 and the new Mercedes-AMG GT.

Such a car would also act as the spiritual successor to the original M car, the M1, from 1978. M division has a long-held desire to follow the lead of Mercedes-AMG and create a junior supercar, but until now parent company BMW has remained unconvinced of the business case.

However, the arrival of BMW's 'i' sub-brand and the performance potential of the hybrid technology found under the skin of the BMW i8 has raised the prospect of the idea being revisited.

Responding to a question about whether BMW still felt its 'i' and 'M' brands need to be kept entirely distinct despite the obvious suitability of the i8 for the M treatment, Pries said: “We have to let the i brand settle down first. It is still very new to the market and the customer needs to be given some time to understand its proposition. Then, maybe, we can look at doing something.”

Speaking at the Los Angeles motor show, Pries confirmed that any resulting car would not be simply a hotter version of the BMW i8, but an M-car in its own right which merely used i8 technologies such as its carbonfibre construction and revolutionary plug-in powertrain.

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BMW i8
The BMW i8 joins the i3 as part of the firm's 'i' range of vehicles

Can BMW's baby hypercar blow the lid off performance convention?

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Comments
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20 November 2014
The I8 is already super-enough for the real world. But I-boss Carsten Breitfeld has stated they intend to uprate both engine and motor when a higher capacity battery becomes available.

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