Everyone is aware of the BMW i brand and its 'electric mobility' focus. You want to build cars with less horsepower than a blender and that offer an equally annoying aural experience? Go ahead BMW, knock yourself out. BMW is committing tremendous resources to this project and betting big the i brand will pay off.
It just may do so but with 100,000 i3 units needing to be sold to break even and 10,000 a year for the i8 talk about a huge risk. Talk about a huge investment. If BMW is putting so many of their resource to work for the i brand why in the world is M not getting a chance to utilize this huge resource allocation and investment to its fullest? Why produce a lightweight halo sports car with tons of high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum only to avoid giving it to the division you already have with a storied history that could actually make the real Ultimate Driving Machine with the platform?
BMW says an M version of the i8 does not make sense. M says they want a chance to build one. It seems there is an internal power struggle regarding BMW's philosophy and direction. Why is there a problem here? Let BMW i do their thing and let BMW M do its thing or why even have the two divisions? If BMW M uses the i8 chassis the BMW i8 does not become any less 'i' does it? Perhaps BMW is worried that people actually will opt for a high performance version of the car if given the choice as what other reason is there to not further utilize a platform when BMW is all about platform sharing and increasing sales volume these days? BMW is scared to give customers to the choice which means they may not even believe their own crap. They could but won't give customers an M option.
You want to build a front wheel drive BMW and plaster M badged all over it? Fine.
You want to race a car you do not even sell and look like complete hypocrites? Fine.
You want to build big and heavy M SUV's to pad the bottom line? Fine.
You want to add yet another and even bigger SUV to the lineup? Fine.
You want to increase Mini and BMW platform sharing creating more front wheel drive BMW's? Fine.
You want to kill off the bespoke M motor to share components across motors for maximum profit? Fine.
You want to charge customers twice for engine software to unlock power already sitting there? Fine.
You want to lock enthusiasts out of their cars with complex encryption so as to avoid the possibility of spending a single penny on additional warranty claims? Fine.
You want to continue to push GT variants on us despite their failure in the marketplace? Fine.
You want to cut enthusiast models or hardcore CSL variants of the M3/M4 out of the lineup? Fine.
You want to abuse your most loyal US fans by refusing to bring over the M3 GTS / CRT / CSL models while having no problem milking us for SUV profits? Fine.
You want to take advantage of US enthusiasts with marked up 'limited edition' M models that offer nothing more than cheap cosmetic changes? Fine.
You want to avoid taking on Mercedes-Benz AMG Black Series models? Fine.
You want to produce M cars without M motors? Fine.
You want to dilute the M brand? Fine.
You want to sell your soul? Fine.
We can forgive this, ALL OF IT, if you just once, just once, didn't spit in enthusiast's faces while robbing them blind. BMW, if you never had the intention of producing a new M1 why in the world did you call the M version of the E82 1-Series the 1M specifically to not use the M1 moniker? Obviously you know what M1 means. Before the 1M ever was named or came out BimmerBoost wrote this about the name:
By not naming this vehicle the M1, BMW would be making a stronger statement than simply taking the path that is easiest and most readily identifiable to the average person. By simply giving it a name that breaks the naming convention used for other numerically designated models, M3/M5, and naming it a 1M, they will be making a strong statement to their core audience. A statement which decisively tells the world BMW has not forgotten they once protected the M badge. BMW has not forgotten M1 belongs on the flagship Motorsport model. BMW has not forgotten they once stated SUV's were not fitting for the M division. BMW has not forgotten they once refused to take the path of least resistance with their motors. If they do not use the M1 namesake, it means BMW has not forgotten that their history means more than their marketing.
BMW, you did the right thing in naming the 1M the way you did despite thinking the average buyer might not be intelligent enough to comprehend why you broke the standard M naming convention (and with all the people who call it an M1 that says a lot). It is time to do the right thing again and use the M1 name you protected for a reason. It is time to build the Ultimate Driving Machine. It is now or never, either you produce an enthusiast car or just admit you no longer build 'only one thing.' Build the i8 M or M1 as you have put your hardcore and loyal fans through enough and yet we are still here. If you do not, we won't be for much longer.
That is absolutely fine. In 2014 the badge on the back of a German car representing the Ultimate Driving Machine says AMG Black Series, not M.