Despite recent comments from BMW’s head of sales that sports cars were on their way out due to a substantial decrease in demand, the auto retailer doesn’t seem quite ready to let them go just yet—at least not without a few last attempts at resurrection.
If you’re pursuing an auto career, you’ll want to keep tabs on what BMW has in the works for sports cars over the next few years. Graduates of mechanic colleges might even call the upcoming i8S an industry game-changer— as it will not only live up to BMW’s high performance standards, but it looks like it’ll be electric as well.
Introducing Project M100
What better way to celebrate BMW’s centenary than with a car that encompasses the evolution of the brand itself?
BMW is renowned for its M division—which any graduate of auto technician training can tell you—was originally designed for racing purposes, though the auto company somehow found a way to make it a mainstream sports car staple. The brand has also recently tapped into the electric car market with its Project i vehicles. BMW is clearly looking to tie in the old with the new in this upcoming project that will have everything you’d expect from a BMW, including power, torque, speed and prestige—but it’ll be developed by the Project i team to ensure that it’s environmentally friendly too!
Adding Italian Flair to German Engineering
If you’re a little skeptical about a sports car being created by a distinctly un-sporty electric car development team—you can stop worrying. Always one step ahead, BMW recently poached Ferrari’s (former) technical director, Roberto Fedeli, to take the lead on Project M100.
What We Know So Far…
Not only will this new project be a birthday gift to the auto giants, but it seems it will also double as a parting gift for BMW’s current chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is planning to retire in 2016 or 2017—just in time for the launch of this new sports car.
Though it is rumored that the i8S will be similar to the i8, it’s important to note that these two models—even though they’ll resemble one another in appearance—will in fact be completely different. How? The i8S will feature the use of a wider range of materials in the body and build, for starters. It will also have a more forceful suspension system, stronger brakes, wider tires, and there will no rear seats, which will create space for a bigger luggage bay.
The i8S will be evaluated in two different options. One option will feature a twin-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine rated at about 320 horsepower and a 204-hp electric motor, while the other configuration will rock a 3.0-litre straight six with 480 horsepower and an electric motor with 109 hp.
The i8S will also have a stiffer and much more powerful drive than the i8. And of course, it’ll come equipped with a full team of horses—more than 500 horsepower to be specific. One might wonder where in the world it’s even legal to drive that fast!
What do you think about this latest project? Does it predict the return of sports cars?