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.