The legend we had always known was that BMW and Mercedes-Benz had a gentleman's agreement in place not to go after the Porsche 911. For whatever reasons, building a proper two-seat sports car was out of the question, though both build heavier and more accomodating grand touring machines that manage to skirt around the 911's segment.

Then came the Audi R8. Being stuck in third place of a three-man race has forced Audi to branch out into new segments, and the R8 is a bold statement that might make someone shopping a 911 think twice. Audi's bite of the forbidden fruit has apparently opened the door enough for BMW to consider a proper two-seat sports car. Sure, the M6 is plenty powerful with its 500-horse V10, more powerful than the R8 actually, but it's a pretty porker that can carry four people.

German outlet Auto Zeitung is reporting that BMW has begun work on an R8/911 competitor. To be called the M10, this front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe would be the spiritual successor to the M1 and Z8. Though BMW has dabbled with carbon fiber in some of its recent designs, the M10 would likely be almost completely covered in the material to keep weight around 3,000 lbs. Power for the M10 could come from either the M3's 420-hp, 4.2L V8 or the corporate 5.0L V10 producing around 550 horsepower. We would expect both engines to be offered so that BMW could square off the M10 against the R8 and RS8, as well as the 911 and 911 Turbo.

If BMW is working on such a car, development is going on behind many closed doors and any official info is far off. Regardless, such a car makes sense for the brand that purports to build ultimate driving machines.

[Source: Auto Zeitung via Motor Authority]