BMW's R&D Chief is working hard to make it happen.
BMW still hasn’t built a proper supercar since the M1, but that could change within the next few years. Enthusiasts are begging BMW to build a new supercar that serves as the brand’s halo car, and the German automaker's R&D chief Klaus Frohlich is doing everything in his power to make it happen. Speaking to Drive, the executive hinted that a new BMW supercar could happen as early as 2021 but didn’t confirm if the project has been given the green light.
However, his comments suggest BMW could be working on a new flagship supercar. “A supercar is my personal wish…I think there is a next window of opportunity whenever we have the life cycle for i8,” he told the publication at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. “I’m working very hard to make it happen.”
What isn’t clear is if Frohlich sees the supercar as a potential successor to the i8 or a separate car. He did, however, say he would like to use the i8’s aluminum and carbon fiber platform as a starting point. “The chassis is so robust, so good and so lightweight that I would like to use it for a second generation,” he said. Like the i8, Frohlich envisions the supercar to have a combustion engine linked with electric motors.
With 389 hp on tap, the BMW i8 isn’t in the same league as supercars like the Lamborghini Huracan and Audi R8, but Frohlich suggested his proposed supercar will offer significantly more performance. While large V8 or V10 engines have been ruled out, he thinks a four- or six-cylinder unit will likely power the rear wheels. Electric motors would then drive the front wheels to make the car all-wheel drive.
With this setup, Frohlich believes 600 hp is a good target to aim for and that the car would weigh less than two tonnes. Alas, development of Frohlich’s passion project hasn’t been confirmed yet, so we probably shouldn’t get too excited just yet. Still, at least BMW isn’t ruling out the possibility of developing a new halo car. It all depends if a business case can be made, as he admitted the market is small but it could bolster the brand’s image.