BMW M performance division has finally started working on the successor of the M1 supercar. The M1 supercar first came in the 1980s and then BMW never followed it up. After more than three decades, BMW is finally getting a successor to that iconic car. BMW previewed the Vision M Next Concept recently and that is also likely to replace the BMW i8. This new concept will debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The BMW Vision M Next Concept will have a mid-engine layout and will also use a plug-in petrol-electric drivetrain that is also going to power other conventional BMW M cars in the future. The petrol engine will be an all-new 2.0L, 4-cylinder, turbocharged unit that will be paired with two electric motors for a combined power output of 600 bhp, almost double of what the current i8 produces.
The two electric motors will be placed on the front and rear axles, each powering them individually. This setup allows for rear or four-wheel drive depending on the drive mode selected. It will also have an electric-only range of more than 100 km.
BMW claims that the supercar will be able to do the 0-100kph sprint in 3sec flat and go onto a top speed of 299kph.
Talking about the design of this rather radical Vision M Next Concept, it clearly takes its inspiration from the original BMW M1 supercar. The clean lines and especially that rear quarter clearly shouts out its roots. With time, it has of course become more contemporary with the new grille that features a laser-engraved pattern, blade-like aerodynamic elements at the front, cutting-edge OLED lighting and butterfly-action doors.
Other prominent design elements include the ducts in the rear quarter of the car which are meant to channel cool air to the mid-mounted petrol engine and electric motor. There are some unpainted panels on the lower portion of the concept that surely hint towards the use of a lightweight carbon-fiber bodyshell. There have been some proposals about a convertible version of this supercar to the BMW board as well but no decision regarding the production of the convertible has been made yet.
On the inside, the BMW Vision M Next Concept features a completely driver-centric cockpit design. There’s a so-called ‘boost pod’ with a unique high-performance drag-car-inspired steering wheel with integrated displays and a fingerprint sensor as a starter button. A curved instrument display and an augmented reality head-up display unit have also been featured in the concept car.
According to sources at BMW HQ, the production version of the Vision M Next concept will be for a limited run only. It will be sold in the international markets shortly before the second generation i8 is introduced. This also could hint at the two cars sharing possibly sharing some key structural components. The Vision M Next will also be a spearhead for BMW’se ‘Strategy One Next’ initiative, which aims to put up to 25 electrified BMW models on sale by 2025.