There's word from top BMW executives that the automaker won't be mixing its i division with its M division, Car Advice reports. M division, which takes regular BMWs and makes them into formidable performance cars, and i division, which makes unique BMWs focused on fuel efficiency and sustainability, just don't go together.

While the i8 hybrid sports car looks and performs like a perfect candidate for M engineers to tinker with, BMW Group head of technology communications Cypselus von Frankenberg told Car Advice that nobody from the M division had a hand in developing the i8, and it will stay that way.

"I don't think it's necessary," Frankenberg says. "You look at the car [i8], it's an i version. You look at the LifeDrive architecture of the car, it wouldn't make sense to bring M to that." He did say that i and M may end up competing against each other in the future, but that hinges on how well the i division performs at dealerships. "It depends on the volume [of cars sold] of course," he says, adding that it's unknown when such a scenario would take place.

Head of product development at BMW M, Carsten Pries, is on the same page as Frankenberg. "To me, the brands BMW M and BMW i have different identities, and different focuses within their identities," Pries says. "I don't expect there's any type of competition, even if i8 is a sports car, it's a different kind of sports car." He also implies that the i8 is too slow for an M super sports car, and if the performance division made its own, the resultant vehicle would be much faster from 0-62 miles per hour than the i8's claimed 4.4 seconds.

This development only leaves us with more questions about i division's future, the chief of which is What does BMW have in store to increase the performance of it i cars? Stay tuned to find out as the story develops.


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  • 39 Comments
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sure. And at some time in the past M said no to SUV variants. BMW has whored out the brands so much since then that the M may as well be applied to a Prius. Either take the brand seriously or don't care at all. This is half hearted.
      graphikzking
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW - Somehow produces great cars even though they are blinder than Honda. They said they would never make an M series SUV but now they make 2. M and I go together just like a 4,200 lb sedan is an M5. There only reason they don't make an I8 an M car is because it would be called i8M (I ate 'em). lol. I think they should make it to be honest. It would be fairly easy to swap out the electric motor for one with another 35hp, add a super-capacitor for short bursts of speed off the line or out of turns. I look forward to those days :) Those will be great.
      jonnybimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sure they won't. And as Audi, Mercedes, Acura, Lexus, and every other premium auto manufacturer badges up their electric/hybrid cars with their sports sub-brands, raking in the that extra badge money, BMW will just stand idly be and say "Not us, we won't give in to easy money. We have STANDARDS." /S
      Serge
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yet they seem to think M and X go together very well... I think what they meant to say is that M and $ go together very well. The M3/4 are the only cars that seem to follow the original philosophy of the band, somewhat at least.
      NamorF-Pro
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can tell....
      John
      • 1 Year Ago
      i want that car
      lesapt59
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah sounds great. Just like that time when M vowed to never build AWD or turbocharged cars...and then broke both rules in one fell swoop. M's recent obsession with efficiency over immersion makes me think they're on their way to becoming the same as the i division. M4 is their last chance for us enthusiasts.
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lesapt59
        When did BMW vow to not use Turbos? They've been using them since the 70's and the first M car had a turbo version (albeit track only). Also, if you think the M3/4 is the last chance for enthusiasts, you should look into the upcoming M2. I agree BMW is far from the BMW that people get nostalgic over, but that's not to say the company's dead.
      breakfastburrito
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pretentious power-hungry A**hol*s in box "A". Gas-pump-instagramming A**hol*s in box "B". Got it.
        larrynatve
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        Aka people who work hard, can afford one, and can buy what they want. You obviously aren't one of them. But I'm sure your generalized rant/tantrum/jealous rage makes you feel better (or worse?)
          Technoir
          • 1 Year Ago
          @larrynatve
          breakfastburrito drives a 15 year old Mustang with PepBoys wheels and orange racing stripes.
        larrynatve
        • 1 Year Ago
        @breakfastburrito
        aka people who work hard, can afford one, and you aren't one of them. But feel free to lump em in whatever rant category you like to make yourself feel better (or worse).
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      "M division, which takes regular BMWs and makes them into formidable performance cars, and i division, which makes unique BMWs focused on fuel efficiency and sustainability" Sounds like they are saying their electric cars suck.
      JDeLorenzo
      • 1 Year Ago
      This comes from the same company who also said for years that they would never (and they repeated, NEVER) produce an M version of an SUV. Such blasphemy, a performance oriented SUV! It'll never sell, and we will never build such a thing!
      Carguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think there are a lot of enthusiasts who are sick of just an increase of HP when it comes with an additional 300lbs of weight. I think the M division and all BMW's would definitely benefit with the weight savings of the i3 and i8. The i3 will weigh 2700lbs. BMW has not had a car under 3000lbs in many many years.
      itsme38269
      • 1 Year Ago
      Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, here, BMW. Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren, despite all being full of old fuddy-duddies, have all figured out that electric motors are great for performance. The entire world has seen what awesomeness a giant sedan can do from a brand new, tiny manufacturer in California which managed to make a sedan which is not only 400lbs heavier than your M5, but also faster than it. And you think that mixing performance with electric drive systems won't work? Get out of the 1800s. Even Ferdinand Porsche made a hybrid car in 1901.
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