“Inside Line reports that BMW’s M division wants to play with the other kids and develop its own car, but it’s got to wait on parent BMW to say Alles klar. This isn’t new; they’ve been public about the desire for at least two years. The holdup, naturally, is that bean-and-spreadsheet wielding boogeyman named The Business Case: any in-house M offering has to feed the profit motive before getting the okay.
Sure, Audi has its R8, but that was made easier because of the Lamborghini link. The real template for this is Mercedes-Benz’s AMG, which created the SLS on its own, and on its own chassis. The sales success of that car must surely have the folks at M anxious to fabricate a proper challenger.
When we talked to former M Division head Dr. Kay Segler, he spoke about pushing the 1 Series M through without dilution in spite of frequent reservations about its business case. We haven’t heard the same talk yet from the department’s current head, so, using a different template, it could be time for M engineers to start turning wrenches in their spare time: the IS-F began as an after-hours project, and in effect so did the Pagani Zonda. Give us the M1 Hommage, guys. Or feel free to do even better…”