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 fiber 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 rumored 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.


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  • 30 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      askroon
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can already see the magazine cover headlines: "M8 vs R8"
      k.naz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Before they commence the "production" of this model, I just want to know, what ever happened to the i3/i5/i8 models?
        Ak74
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k.naz
        they coming soon. Will be on sale in couple of years. i3 next year
      Speed Devil
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hope its a proper engine (V10/tt, V12/tt), be a shame for such a Badass car to be ruined with bs electric hybrid crap
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Memories of the original M8 prototype remind me just how big of an opportunity I think BMW is missing for making compact-crossover-coupe market fillers instead of bring back the 8 series. *sigh* http://www.gtspirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/bmw_m8_prototype.jpg
      Dramedywall
      • 2 Years Ago
      The BMW Mate
      gtv4rudy
      • 2 Years Ago
      It does look a little wierd in some ways. Why do people have to f..k around with these classic designs. You know it's going to turn out like shiit in the end and what's with that bulge on the hood when it's a Mid-engined car?
      Toronto St. Pats
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm starting to think that the E34 is going to be the only good-looking BMW of all time. This makes me sad.
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Toronto St. Pats
        5 series in general (E28 once you get rid of the ugly US bumpers - E39) have always been some of the most handsome looking cars IMO. Even the one M5 convertible was actually pretty good looking, far better than those E30 M3 verts anyways.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          [blocked]
      jmi2
      • 2 Years Ago
      i have never understood the excitement nor interest in BMW's. they are all very pedestrian looking. i've driven various models and didn't find them fun to drive. mechanically i suppose they may have an edge over lots of other cars, but their price is sort of steep. is this some sort of cult thing? as far as this 'M8', as others have posted, it looks like something out of the past. first glance i thought, "Is this a new Elyse or Lambo?" until i saw the BMW nostrils.
      Carma Racing
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugly. This has to be a joke.
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Carma Racing
        What joke? This is just a 4 year old concept car/design exercise. There's no clue as to what the M8 will look like other than something that's most likely mid-engined and 2 seater, if it's going to be a real super car and M1 successor.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just blah. The original M1 was fine, but this is ghastly. They need to get their inspiration from how Audi hit a home run with the Quattro Concept that pays tribute to the original Quattro road and race cars.
      jkt
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks out-dated already. BMW's been hanging out with Mr. Brainwash too much.
        k.naz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jkt
        It looks like a 70's concept car :/ Don't like that, since not many cars looked particularly good during that period.
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