• Apr 1, 2006
The skies over Germany were full of trial balloons this week, as BMW chairman Helmut Panke has been teasing the German press with possible new products. In an interview with auto motor und sport (rough English translation here), Panke alludes to several possible new BMW models:
  • an M7? An M-version of BMW's 7-Series would be positioned against Mercedes' S63 AMG. Panke says market demand for an M7 is particularly strong in the U.S.
  • a baby Phantom? With a fully-equipped long wheelbase 7-Series coming in at around $215,000, and the Phantom selling for about $460,000, Panke believes there could well be a potential market at a $300,000 price point. However, he doesn't think that this luxo-model should be a BMW, which suggests that a smaller Rolls might be in the cards.
  • a Z8 successor? BMW didn't set the world on fire with its upmarket sports car, but Panke still sees an unserved sports car market segment waiting to be tapped by the right BMW product.
[Source: auto motor und sport]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      BMW is jumping the shark trying to expand into so many markets. That's not their image... to make terrific driving sedans in three sizes... 3, 5, 7-series. Set aside what you think about their dull as hell SUVS for a minute.

      Porsche jumped the shark with the Cayenne, M-B stopped playing to its strengths. Audi and VW cannibalize each other with every new model. Sounds like all of the Germans could use some marketing expertise real soon!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes the old BMW V12 was basically two I6es... but that doesn't make it not a V12. That's just silly.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13 and #16, Its good that you are regular with your homework. You can buy these awards with dollars, not a problem! I never asked you to take my word. You can say whatever you feel like, no one is bothering you.

      BMW V12 is crap, that is my observation and experience.

      "...Just makes you realize how (in)valid a statement like "BMW does not know how to make a V12" could be when coupled with "It was a combination of two straight sixes, not a true V12"..."

      Your rhetoric (in quote) is not intelligent. The statements about BMW not knowing how to make a V12 was related to its current offering, and the combination of two sixes to make a V12 was related to McLaren F1. You combined these two statements, which shows you have lower than average intelligence.

      You are also naive in believing that if a BMW V12 gets an award, it is "good enough". May be it is good enough according your standards, but not others.

      In fact, many asian 760i/760Li customers were not happy. They were too naive in thinking that BMW knows how to make V12s. Even in US, Mercedes V12s outsell BMW V12s by 2:1 and in some years even 3:1.

      By looking at Lexus' current reputation it is not hard to believe that if Lexus makes a V12 powered LS with competitive output and if the market is not biased, it will outsell even the Mercedes V12s.

      • 8 Years Ago
      An M7? Do we really need a full-sized car with that much power and handling?

      YES :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      This post if riddled with careless mistakes. BMW for 200K, nonsense!. Fully loaded BMW 760Li will cost 125K. Also, how come Rolls is 460K. These figures are not correct even in canadian dollars.

      Is Panke on cocaine? In 2005 total sales of 100K plus BMWs was 550 cars. Where is the strong demand? I dont see it.
      Besides an M7 with V12 will be very poor quality as BMW does not know how to make a V12.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You guys can't say that this post is riddled with mistakes. If you actually read the interview that this post is based off of, you will see that the prices that Panke quotes are in euros and substancially higher than the ones we see in America. Know your shit before you criticize someone.

      BTW a M7 sounds amazing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #22, They can probably come-up with 600+ hp by making a 7.0L V12. They need not bump it up to 7.5L.

      The "natural-aspiration" AMG V12 used for pagani churns out 650 hp with 7.3 L.

      which means 7.0L = 623 hp, still north of 600 hp.

      • 8 Years Ago
      #5 is right. Did you just quote the German prices, which include Value Add Taxes? Pretty sure that the Phantom "only" costs a bit more than $300k. Sloppy fact checking guys...even if it is the weekend.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A fully equipped 760il with every option checked off on BMWUSA.com comes to no more than $134,000 - that's quite a bit off from the $200,000 mark you mentioned.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The new 600 hp Z8 successor shown in this months Autobild!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Gentlemen: allow me to vent and don't take it personally. Reading this post you'd think that North America was full of race-car drivers darting around each other in morning traffic.

      To be honest, guys, you come off as kinda silly talking about these super-powered cars when the speed limit is 65 in most places and moreover you rarely, if ever, get to drive them to the envelope.

      I am an urban police officer who used to run an auto larceny squad and drive urban pursuit on a regular basis. I own a 2004 325iT with all the sport options. There is certainly bound to be a better driver out there on this board than me, but not many. Instead of obsessing about how some monstrosity from BMW is going to be powered, consider the merits (and the culture) of the sedate, low-profile, modest sports sedan and learning to drive the hell out of it. Horsepower gets you to a given speed a bit faster than the other guy, but how you drive at that speed wins the race. A 7-series BMW, even with a rocket engine on it and an "M" badge attached, is simply not a driver's car. It's a chauffer's car.

      The problem with this fundemantal truth is that it's bad for business for car makers like BMW. They need to create a market for very expensive, overpowered cars to keep up their brand image and their perceived edge over the the other guy. It's a German reflex, I guess. They take advantage of the fact that the average person doesn't know how to drive and doesn't realize what makes for a good driver's car.

      I'll close with this: a 3-series is lighter, fits into more spaces, is more maneuverable, and holds the road better than anything bigger. The M3 is probably where it's at, worldwide, for an off-the-shelf pursuit car. Unless, of course, you don't car about actually throwing a car around, and you just want girls and envious guys to drool at the size of your car, its price, and the badge on it...
      • 8 Years Ago
      ok...ok...lets get this straight. leave the "m7" to alpina, and lets get about the business of building good performance sedans. bms's m division in its incept was BRILLIANT because it was the ultimate sleeper. think 1st gen m5, or m6. granted, the m3 looked like a kids toy, with its box flares and ridiculous wing,, but was it? no! it was serious, meant business (think tii,.. more recently think sti, think evo, think lotus of the 90's for that matter...a performance 4cyl?!?!...who was doing it!?!? oh yeah, renault). bmw doesnt need an m7. yeah, its the thing dreams are made of, sure, pimp my ride, etc.... but what we need is bmw to RACE the m3 again....and they are(?). i remember a time when the 7 series was a dtm race car whoopin @$$...remember that? the s8 is head and shoulders above the new 7...even m7. but an s-class amg? does anyone here consider that a "performance" car? its a chevelle ss, better yet, its a galaxie 500, a 300c hemi, hell, i dont know....0-60? who cares, what was its time at watkins glen? i think you all get my point. i like, hell, love bmw's, but dont let the m division be the amg (styling package for a slushbox) for bmw, even alpina is above that. let it be what it was, what it is, what it will be. m-power!! that feeling when you see an "R" on the back of a volvo wagon that makes you hesitate before you challange it. that "S" for audi, or more recently, that a-spec, of (add japanese manufacturer here). its marketing, and im tired of it. "M" doesnt mean it comes with 19"+ rims in chrome and a wing. it means serious performance on the road with a video to drool over to be found on the "ring" on youtube, or google.video. it means, i drive a performace civic, but that thing is in a world of its own, it means, leave that devil alone. it came here for one reason only, to kick my ass off the showroom floor. i'll buy an m7 when its 3 seconds off the track record at the ring. i'll buy an m7 when its being drifted to fame on a so-cal track via some japanese driver of famous repute, i'll buy an m7 when it,.... hell, when it stars in ronin 2? (yeah, well...it worked for the s8 didnt it). i'm a bmw fan for life, but what styling aside, the engineers over there are doing one hell of a job. i'll take some bmw engineering with a side of bangle, over some german engineered m-b taxi cab logic with hand me down volvo styling anyday. ive got my money on a bmw z4coupe styled by the m division to trump the latest "sub-compact" offering from stutgart....can you say cayman? wait, can you say carrera? v-dub better "pimp" the gti to unheard of limits if its wants to intimidate the boys from the dirty south (of germany that is). etawns, has said his peace, let those who respond be forewarned that the libations are flowing, and im ready for any and all adversaries.

      "iI have a BMW. But only because BMW stands for Bob Marley and The Wailers, and not because I need an expensive car."
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