BMW is developing a mid-engined supercar with a V8 engine – and is in talks with McLaren to put the car into production. CAR can reveal that the top secret flagship is scheduled for a Frankfurt show unveiling in exactly two years’ time, if talks with Britain’s supercar specialists are successfully concluded.
Suspension, steering and brakes will be shared across both brands: BMW should be able to dial in its own specific calibration, with a high-speed bias for that coveted autobahn touch. BMW’s still nameless two-seater would, like the 650S, be positioned in Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin territory. The pricing would have to be beyond £150,000. After all, the deal would also need to be a solid money-maker for the Brits, who are still digesting a substantial up-front investment.
There remains a big question: why doesn’t BMW handle its proposed halo car in-house? That was the original plan for M100, a supercar intended to crown the marque’s 2016 centenary. Even though it was already well underway, then-chairman Norbert Reithofer called it off at the eleventh hour. As the driving force behind the i3 and i8, Reithofer feared the M100 would hamper BMW’s eco-focused sub-brand, which cost billions to establish. But it’s now thought a big-bore V8 supercar could co-exist with the low carbon i8, with its zero-emissions electric capability and 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo.