BMW said to be planning a supercar

Bavaria's petrol-electric speedster would take on the likes of McLaren

03 January 2019 - 09:55 By Motoring Reporter
BMW's supercar could take its cue from the mid-engined petrol-electric i8 (pictured), but would pack enough power to chase McLarens. Picture: SUPPLIED
BMW's supercar could take its cue from the mid-engined petrol-electric i8 (pictured), but would pack enough power to chase McLarens. Picture: SUPPLIED

Speculation that BMW wants to enter the supercar arena has resurfaced. BMW board member for product development, Klaus Fröhlich, has  implied that the German automaker may be working on a product to rival supercars such as the McLaren 570S.

The car will most likely be a mid-engined petrol-electric hybrid like the firm’s existing i8, but pushing much more power. The i8 is the firm's flagship electrified sportscar while the soon-to-be launched M8 will be the brand's top GT (grand tourer) model.

“If you are an engineer, once in your life, you want to make a super sports car. I think partial electrification will enable that,” Fröhlich said in a recent interview with Autocar.

“If we have these very compact and very powerful electric driving units, if we have a carbonfibre chassis – for example, the i8 – and if we still have high-performance engines, then, if you do it cleverly, you can combine them into a real performance package.” he continued.

“If you look at the supercars – the McLarens, the Ferraris – beyond 2020, they will be all partially electric. And if you look at power plug-in hybrids we are planning for today, an electric motor in our PHEVs has a little bit more than 73kW and 249Nm of torque. So if you see this e-motor in a car which can give you in milliseconds the push formerly found in a V8 engine, then you can have a very sporty feel from this power PHEV – and it fits perfectly to the M brand,” he said.

“M will also be electric in the future, but we will work very heavily on partial electrification on M cars. This is because they do not only need acceleration on the straight. They have to drive around corners and race tracks, so weight is an issue and electric vehicles still have a weight penalty for range,” he said.

It’s believed that this BMW supercar hybrid could be produced in small batches to keep it exclusive. It’s also speculated that this model could arrive by 2023. 

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