BMW has continued to publicly hedge its bets on whether there’s a new supercar in the pipeline.
When asked if the brand’s M division had any plans for an Audi R8 challenger, BMW M’s vice-president of sales and marketing, Peter Quintus, told Drive that no firm plans were in the works. But he did admit that there had been internal discussions on the subject and agreed that some form of hybrid technology would be involved if the project got the green light.
And he confirmed that concepts already exist.
“At the moment, our priorities are on other issues,” he said.
“The two big factors beyond that are our development capacity and also the investment required.”
“We would love to do it. Our engineers would love to do it. But there has to be the money to do it,” Quintus said.
If, however, BMW did take the step, Quintus is convinced that the next M supercar would feature some type of alternative driveline technology.
“Would it involve hybrid technology? Yes, you couldn’t stay with a conventional approach.
“It should be at least a plug-in (electric).
“We have concepts. If you said tomorrow, go, we know already what it would look like.”
So where does this leave the i8, a car that arrived with great fanfare in 2014 but seems to have been a bit forgotten since then?
“Do we continue with i8? There has been internal discussion on the subject. But it’s been a big success for us and the Roadster in 2018 should be a success also,” Quintus said.
All of which makes us wonder if the i8 hybrid concept might, indeed form the basis of a future BMW M supercar, given that it already harnesses the hybrid driveline.