BMW M Division Head Would Like To Develop M-Specific Model
By Carl Malek
A report on InsideLine suggests that BMW’s M division wants to develop an exclusive model of its own to take on the likes of the AMG SLS and Audi’s equally potent RS line. Albert Biermann, head of product development for BMW’s Motorsport division, claims that the division is ready to develop a model of its own. “From an engineering perspective we have the skills and we’d love to do it,” he said. “We’ve discussed it several times but we’ve never been able to make the business case. Everything we do has to make money.” Biermann also claims that the M division is ready to switch to power-trains powered by alternative sources of energy. “Our job is to sell emotion and fun, using the technology that’s socially acceptable at the time. Whether that’s a combustion engine or an electric motor, we don’t care.”
The recently unveiled 2012 BMW M5 ditched its Formula 1-inspired V10 for a smaller, more fuel efficient displacement twin turbo V8, and Biermann expects this current push towards turbocharging to continue for future M series products. “It’s about employing the right technology at the right time, and we’re on a steep learning curve with turbos. We’re getting damn close to matching the response of a naturally aspirated engine but with much lower fuel consumption.”
While the use of turbocharging and smaller displacement powerplants will most certainly improve the fuel efficiency of future M products, Biermann also revealed in a separate statement that the race for raw horsepower numbers between the division and its German rivals has largely ended. “We cannot just keep adding power,” he said. “M is not selling horsepower; that’s not what we’re about.” While this may appear to be bad news for M division purists, Biermann did state that the division has not ruled out the possibility of developing a diesel powered M car. “We’d never say never if the technology becomes available, but right now we don’t have the diesel technology to match the responsiveness of the new M5.”
For its part BMW has not released an official statement regarding Biermann’s remarks as of this writing, but M division fans and customers should stay tuned as more information regarding the possible future direction of the M division is revealed. A dedicated M-only model, akin to the legendary M1 – or to the SLS AMG – would be a very interesting proposition indeed.