BMW’s M Division plans to release waves of new high-performance cars in the next few years, as Auto Express reports that a successor to the M1 supercar and triple-turbocharged next-gen M3 will soon join the M2. As we previously reported, BMW has decided to include a few more even-numbered models in its lineup, with the current 1 Series M Coupe slated to morph into the M2 for its next generation. This decision will help avoid confusion among consumers who can’t help but call an M version of the 1 Series an “M1” — a name that is sacred to BMW.
Talking to Auto Express, head of BMW’s M Division Dr. Friedrich Nitschke spoke of a desire to launch new M models more frequently. “Our pace of development must accelerate,” Nitschke said. “We can build more cars, and we can build a wider range of cars.”
A new M3, based on the next-gen F30 3 Series, is expected to arrive by 2014 and will make use of a tri-turbo 3.3-liter six-cylinder engine. While the engine layout wasn’t given, some have speculated that BMW could ditch the inline configuration it has traditionally used with its six-cylinder engines in favor of a more compact V-6 mill. The next-gen M3’s three turbochargers will consist of two conventional exhaust gas-driven turbos and one powered by electricity — helping the M3 achieve the rumored 450 hp.
While performance is M Division’s primary goal, Nitschke stresses that the next M3 will also be efficient, saying, “there will be a bigger focus on very low fuel consumption.” Also contributing to both performance and efficiency will be the reduced weight of the M3, thanks to a body made up of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and high-strength steel, similar to that used on the limited edition M3 CRT.
Next on the agenda would be the M1 supercar, whose name BMW mulled using for the current 1 Series M Coupe, but ultimately chose to reserve for its future halo car. The plan for a successor to BMW’s supercar, according to Auto Express, has been in development for more than 11 years, and is only now getting closer to becoming a reality thanks to advancements in technology. “We have a fantastic history with the M1,” said Nitschke. “The decision on developing this car is open. We’d love to do it.”
As for what will power the M1, little is known. However, AE speculates that the car will have either a V-10 or V-12 in order to keep up with competitors like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin. Assuming the project gets the go-ahead from management, an M1 successor could arrive as early as 2016, according to AE.
In addition to the M1 and next-gen M3, M Division wants to have other cars in the pipeline, with Nitschke expressing interest in an M version of the current Z4 — possibly reviving the “breadvan” look of the quirky but beloved Z3 M Coupe. The plan to spit out more M-badged models also includes releasing additional special versions of existing M Cars such as the planned lightweight CSL version of the 1 Series M and ultra-limited M3 CRT.
Source: Auto Express