The year 2016 will mark 100 years of BMW, and that simply is not the kind of anniversary that you commemorate with the launch of yet another sedan or crossover. Friedrich Nitschke, the director of BMW’s M performance division believes that BMW needs a halo supercar, and it is looking like this vehicle will be the one with which BMW celebrates its birthday. This should not be confused with the i8, an upcoming coupe which BMW promises will be the “sportiest green car in the world”. The new halo car, now called “M8”, according to a report in Automobile, will prioritize speed above fuel economy, although we’re expecting a certain amount of green in this car as well.
There has been speculation over a BMW supercar since 2008, when BMW showed off their M1 Homage Concept (pictured). This concept was built for the 30th anniversary of the M1 and the launch of the M division. It is on the strength of this concept that the new supercar project was set in motion, although it was not without some difficulty. BMW’s director, Norbert Reithofer, is known to dislike sports cars, and it seems that the only way the M people got approval for the project was to agree to build it on the carbon fiber and aluminum platform from the i8. This really isn’t so bad though, low weight is good for supercars and green cars alike, and platform sharing is a known method for keeping costs, and therefore hopefully prices, down.
The project started off being called the M1, but as it has taken shape, the name has been changed. What this means exactly for the retro styling of the original concept, the low 2750lbs. of curb weight, and the 600 horsepower twin-turbo V8 we were told would be coming back when this was the M1, we don’t yet know. Suffice it to say, we aren’t expecting much of the styling from the M1 concept to make it to the production version, especially now that the name has changed. But the rest still seems as feasible as ever and that’s really the exciting part anyway. Whatever BMW decides to go with though, we simply can’t wait to see.