The head of development for BMW’s M GmbH, Albert Biermann, apparently wants his performance division to develop its own model. Biermann told Autocar that he would like M division to follow the same path that Mercedes-Benz’s AMG did in producing the SLS AMG supercar.
Biermann revealed that M has repeatedly considered following such a plan and building a unique performance car, but hasn’t been able to present a solid business case to BMW executives. Every other M vehicle is based on an existing BMW car.
To date, the only M-tuned vehicle that wasn’t shared with BMW’s normal product line was the original M1, which was built from 1978 until 1981. The M1 Homage concept (pictured here) of 2008 paid tribute to the original car, but was nothing more than an official design study. There are no signs that the M1 Homage will be built, although we’re hoping M finds a way to craft something bespoke in the near future.
M reportedly also wants to develop a high-performance version of the BMW Z4. Again, the performance engineers must present a solid business case before BMW brass sign off on such a project. “We are trying to make a case but there are so many factors to consider,” Biermann told Autocar.
As BMW will embrace hybrids, downsize engines, and even electric cars, so too will the M division. Although the group’s goal is to “sell emotion and fun,” Biermann told Autocar that M will consider using smaller turbocharged engines, electric motors, or even diesel engines. However, those engine technologies need more work before they are suitable for an M performance car.
“We’re getting damn close to matching the response of a naturally aspirated engine but with much lower fuel consumption,” he said. “Right now we don’t have the diesel technology to match the responsiveness of the new M5.”