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BMW M1 successor still on track, to be called M8

Posted Nov 24th 2012 12:03PM

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Automobile has taken a look into the medium-term future product plans of the German automakers, and one of the interesting nuggets is that BMW is still working on an M8. An updated BMW M1 has been a fantasy since the last of the 456 original M1s rolled off the line in 1981, and we're told that the coming M8 will finally be the proper successor.

Apparently there's still some conflict to be worked through: company CEO Norbert Reithofer isn't exactly sold on it, whereas M Division president Friedrich Nitschke "doesn't take no for an answer." If you'll remember, the 1 Series M Coupe had to leap the same hurdles, the BMW brass not smitten with the business-case numbers, but Kay Segler, M Division president at the time, pushed it through. And we saw how well that worked out.

BMW's M8 Is on the Way, Come Hell or High Water

Another German supercar in the making is the BMW M8. Previously known as the M1, this car is believed to be the halo model that BMW will pull out of the bag to celebrate its centenary in 2016. Chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is not known as a sports car aficionado, views this project with mixed feelings. Having recently decided that the next-generation 1- and 2-series will be built on a new front-/all-wheel-drive matrix, the big boss is reluctant to give a green light to a V-8-powered tarmac peeler.

But Friedrich Nitschke, who runs the M division, doesn't take no for an answer – even if it means tweaking the project so that the M8 can share the carbon-fiber-and-aluminum underpinnings of the super-frugal i8. This approach could kill two birds with one stone by creating significant economies of scale and by giving the 600-hp sports car a weight advantage over its more conventional rivals.

On a lesser scale, Reithofer has personally sealed the fate of the on-off-on Z2 roadster. Apparently the numbers did not work out, and there is not much time left for a compact, rear-wheel-drive platform, which will be mothballed in 2021. If a small, open-top BMW does materialize, it will be front-wheel drive and pooled with an open-top Mini. The Z4 will get a new lease on life, but since the segment is in free fall, the third-generation version needs to combine the existing folding hardtop with a redesigned body and interior.



Read more: Deep Dive: Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen Group All Expand Upmarket - Rumor Central http://rumors.automobilemag.com/deep-dive-mercedes-bmw-and-volkswagen-group-all-expand-upmarket-186231.html#ixzz2Ct9ByEE9
Follow us: @AutomobileMag on Twitter | AutomobileMag on Facebook

BMW's M8 Is on the Way, Come Hell or High Water

Another German supercar in the making is the BMW M8. Previously known as the M1, this car is believed to be the halo model that BMW will pull out of the bag to celebrate its centenary in 2016. Chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is not known as a sports car aficionado, views this project with mixed feelings. Having recently decided that the next-generation 1- and 2-series will be built on a new front-/all-wheel-drive matrix, the big boss is reluctant to give a green light to a V-8-powered tarmac peeler.

But Friedrich Nitschke, who runs the M division, doesn't take no for an answer – even if it means tweaking the project so that the M8 can share the carbon-fiber-and-aluminum underpinnings of the super-frugal i8. This approach could kill two birds with one stone by creating significant economies of scale and by giving the 600-hp sports car a weight advantage over its more conventional rivals.

On a lesser scale, Reithofer has personally sealed the fate of the on-off-on Z2 roadster. Apparently the numbers did not work out, and there is not much time left for a compact, rear-wheel-drive platform, which will be mothballed in 2021. If a small, open-top BMW does materialize, it will be front-wheel drive and pooled with an open-top Mini. The Z4 will get a new lease on life, but since the segment is in free fall, the third-generation version needs to combine the existing folding hardtop with a redesigned body and interior.



Read more: Deep Dive: Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen Group All Expand Upmarket - Rumor Central http://rumors.automobilemag.com/deep-dive-mercedes-bmw-and-volkswagen-group-all-expand-upmarket-186231.html#ixzz2Ct9ByEE9
Follow us: @AutomobileMag on Twitter | AutomobileMag on Facebook


Automobile posits that Nitschke could put the M8 on the same carbon fibre and aluminum platform as the BMW i8, saving money on the architecture and getting a head start on weight reduction. It's taken 30 years of dreaming to get us this close, and along the way and only recently we've seen concepts like the BMW M1 Hommage (above), and before that a rumoured twin-turbo V10 with 625 horsepower, as well as a gentler, greener two-seat Z10 ED with a twin-turbo six cylinder and 400 hp. Just one year ago BMW told us, "We've discussed these possibilities. But ultimately, we didn't feel the need to make a very exclusive high-end supercar and we still don't." Let's hope that this time Nitschke can close the deal.

News Source: Automobile
Related GalleryBMW M1 Hommage

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