BMW's M division wants to build a hypercar, but a sufficient argument for one hasn't been made—at least not yet.
Markus Flasch, president of BMW M, said the division has all the desire to build a hypercar and low emissions may be the key to making it happen, according a Monday report from the Australian website Motoring. BMW has shied away from supercars and hypercars in recent years, while Audi continues with the R8 and Mercedes-AMG pushes the GT. Flasch's comments clash with his predecessor, Frankus Van Meel, who ruled out an M hypercar in 2017.
2019 BMW i8
What may have changed is the thought process behind an M-specific supercar. The division feels the right business case to receive the green light is a low-emissions supercar with help from BMW's i division. This isn't to say the car would directly replace the i8 or become the next generation of the hybrid sports car, either. Flasch made it clear the future of the i8 is specifically up to the i division, though there's nothing wrong with i and M collaborating in the future.
2020 BMW M8 prototype
M will always stand for performance, he said, while the i division will always be about innovation. The two are working together, he noted, and the M Motorsports team and the brand's Formula E team are cooperating as well.
Flasch also said the M Division is working on 48-volt systems, plug-in hybrids, and battery electric vehicles. He noted he can't say when the first electrified M car will launch, but said it won't be too far into the future. He also said the M team could apply its treatment to any i model.
For now, the M8 will serve as M's halo vehicle. The M8 will arrive later this year in coupe, convertible, and eventually a Gran Coupe. Look for a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 to provide around 600 horsepower to start, but climb in an M8 Competition variant.