BMW Says No to M-Badged i8, But M Execs Want One
The i8 is officially here everyone, if you didn’t already know. Making its world debut in Frankfurt only a few days ago, BMW anticipates its hybrid sportscar to be the next great evolution of the industry. And with 362 horsepower and 94 mpg to boast, it all sounds pretty promising.
But what about a hotter i8? Something that’s a little more “M-powering?” Unfortunately, no; at least, that’s what BMW Group Head of Technology Communications Cypselus von Frankenberg told the press in Frankfurt:
“I don’t think that it would make sense to mix these two sub-brands in one car. We have the Ms, we have the i, and we have the BMW, the core brand.”
Naturally, word from BMW officials at such a large event should most often be taken seriously. But let’s backtrack for a minute. In early August we reported that M execs were pushing heavily for an i8-based supercar (which you can read here); or as it was more simply known, the M8. Something with near 650 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds, and a price tag of somewhere in the market of $500K. This would put it right up against the R8, GT-R and NSX, among others.
Unfortunately, at the end of it all, BMW M engineers– even at the top level –don’t have much of a say in what does or does not hit production. A strong opinion maybe, but final word sits with BMW Group execs.
It should be interesting then to see how this one unfolds, especially if the M brand continues its push for a supercar project heavily on BMW. For now, the i8 is set to hit the market within the next few months.