BMW makes a lot of enthusiast cars, and the most impressive ones are the handiwork of the M Division. The M3 and M5 are two of our favorite vehicles. Supercars haven’t been M’s thing over the course of their history – at least not traditional ones. The M5 is oft-referred to as a “four-door supercar” and we’d agree with that assessment. The M Division lacks a dedicated supercar though, something that the competition has.
At Audi there is the R8, and Mercedes-Benz developed the SLS AMG. No expense was spared at Lexus with the limited-production LF-A. All the aforementioned cars sit at the top of their respective ranges. For Audi, the decision was pretty easy – the parts were all there thanks to the vast Volkswagen Group portfolio. For BMW, the decision is more capital intensive.
They’ve been said to be discussing the idea though for quite some time though. According to North American product head Matthew Russell, it doesn’t look like it will be happening anytime soon. “We’ve discussed these possibilities. But ultimately, we didn’t feel the need to make a very exclusive high-end supercar and we still don’t,” says Russell, speaking with egmcartech.
Well it may not be a need per se, but it definitely is a want. Apparently, the decision was made around the time they were discussing the 1-Series M. Instead they gave us the 1-Series M – or so goes the official line. Our hope all along has been a revival of the M1, previewed by the M1 Homage Concept. That would do serious battle against the Audi R8 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. They even saved the moniker for future usage by not calling the 1-Series M an M1!
Apparently, Russell views M’s core mission as different than just one-dimensional (as in, impractical) super cars. “We like to build two cars in one: this is what M does..nobody offers that perfect combination of a driver’s car and an executive car that you can use everyday…performance wise, they’re not doing anything that we haven’t already done.”
As an example, he says the E92 M3 offers “spot on” performance comparable to the Audi R8 V-8. Point taken, Still, an M1 would look more exotic. For now at least, it seems the M Division has decided to keep doing what it has always done. Despite wanting an M1, you won’t find many complaints from us there.