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BMW: We don't need a Mercedes AMG GT rival

By Damion Smy, 12 Sep 2014 News

BMW: We don't need a Mercedes AMG GT rival

M Division says the new super-Merc won’t stir a direct rival from Munich

BMW is not working on a rival to the AMG GT, says M Division executive Michael Wimbeck, the M3 and M4 project leader.

The Mercedes sports car, which was revealed this week as the Stuttgart brand’s 375kW Porsche 911 rival, is not causing a fluster at BMW’s high-performance arm.

“I don’t think we need it at the moment,” Wimbeck told Wheels.

“It would be nice – an M1 successor – but I’m not sure if we need it 100 percent.”

The M6, which is more of a Grand Tourer rather than super-sharp sports car, is not the basis of a rival, and nor is the BMW i8, which with its 5.0-sec 0-100km/h time is slower than the hero BMW M Cars, from M3 to M6.

Wimbeck said the i8 is “a little different, it’s the other end”.

“We thought a few times about [doing a pure sports car], but when we do something like that, it should be something special. We should do it not just to have one as well, but to do one that’s outstanding.

“If you build a sports car, it must be a very good one."

“With this range of competitors, you can’t take an M6, do this and that, and then you have a supercar. You must build this car from zero. And then you are able to compete with a Ferrari or a McLaren.

“BMW, when it builds such a car, you can’t make it second-best, that’s the big problem.”

The tie-up between BMW and Lexus – who are collaborating on a hybrid sports car program – is not something that M Division is currently involved in, either.

“Oh, that’s a completely different story,” Wimbeck said. “At the moment there are no connections.”