BMW Blog got the chance to interview BMW M boss Dr. Kay Segler and shares some juicy scoop about the future of BMW M cars. Here's an excerpt from the interview:
What is your vision for future BMW M cars?
Dr. Kay Segler: There are certain requirements that need to be taken care of like reduction of Carbon Dioxide emissions. Then the clear task is to offer “two cars in one” for our customers. A day-to-day car to drive, then with the push of the M button you have a race car. Like in the new X6M and X5M, and you will see in the new M5 that you have two cars in one. What is very clear is that, as we have been in the past, we want to be the youngest performance brand. Therefore we need this new car that will come out in spring next year. We want to be young. Young people and kids should be attracted to this brand.
What design principles are core to the M brand?
Dr. Kay Segler: One thing is always important, that the function is governing a lot of M design. For example, the size of the air intake – and you see it on the X6M for instance – you cannot make it smaller. That car swallows a lot of air, and also the aerodynamics are governing a lot of design and we will not compromise at all. On the M3 GTS we needed that spoiler to give additional road holding. I would say we have the strength in BMW design where we already have a very strong base to work from, then we add this functionality into it and make it into an M car.
How will BMW M differentiate their turbo charged engines from those of other turbo sports cars?
Dr. Kay Segler: That’s a good question, but we are not here to differentiate ourselves from competitors but to fulfill the dreams of our customers, full stop. I think what we proved with the last car we did, our turbo S63 engine in the XM vehicles – the responsiveness in these turbo engines is second to none, I mean, this is unbelievable.
What sets M cars apart from the competition, how would you separate M cars among other sports cars?
Dr. Kay Segler: I would look at the fact that we are not here to fight against the competition, but we are here to be number one. We don’t look back to anybody else. The “two cars in one” approach is something we are doing perfectly and I think that will be an important feature in the future. There is a tendency that, sure you can make pure sports cars, but what is the value when you have these pure sports cars in the garage and only every third weekend you take it out? What’s the use of that? We don’t want our cars sitting in garages, we want to have cars which are driven.
The limited edition M3 GTS is a major success, selling out before its production run ends. Will we see similar “weaponized” track-ready M cars across the line?
Dr. Kay Segler: “Weaponized,” I like that. That’s a good one. First of all, secrets are only secrets when they are kept. In general there is a potential for very specific editions, as long as customers want to have something they will get it. We don’t have a very concrete project running at the moment but we have appetite for such a thing.
As environmental issues evolve and emissions and fuel consumption become of greater concern, new Powertrain technologies are being sought. Will M embrace alternative Powertrain technologies such as diesel or hybrid power?
Dr. Kay Segler: We’ve already announced than in the new M5 we will reduce consumption by 20 to 25 percent. By that we are a very clear leader among our competition. Other technologies are simply judged by whether they suit our targets or not. When you add too much weight, for example with a hybrid you also add too much weight to the car which reduced handling.
The diesel question is a very interesting one. As long as our main market in the United States has a problem understanding the potential of diesel, that limits the potential of doing anything in the field. Diesel engines are tremendous engines but the US is our biggest market.
Diesels have race engine potential, we’ve won 24-hour endurance races with our diesels for many years on the Nurburgring. Help us educate other markets about the potential of diesel!
Source: BMW Blog