M-Power.com sat down for a quick chat with Frank Van Meel, BMW M CEO. Van Meel is currently heading to Detroit to unveil one of the most awaited cars of the year – the M2 – and we expect to have some first impressions from there next week.
Mr. van Meel, 2015 was a highly successful year for BMW M GmbH.
Van Meel: Yes, it certainly was. In fact it was the company’s most successful year in its 40-year history. Never before have so many M and M Performance automobiles been sold in one year.
We have quite a lot planned for 2016, too and we have just the right highlights, such as the M4 GTS with unrestricted road approval but clearly developed for use on the race track.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife is one of the toughest race tracks in the world. Your suspension developer Jörg Weidinger managed an absolutely remarkable time of 7 minutes 28 seconds there in the BMW M4 GTS. And there is now a video showing this lap from the on-board perspective.
Yes, this further underscores the superb development work done by the M engineers. Our concept of setting the benchmark in terms of creating an overall package of performance, agility and precision has proven very successful in the BMW M4 GTS, too.
There are press reports saying that the BMW M4 GTS is already sold out?
It’s true that demand has been overwhelming. We’re seeing a very positive response throughout all regions and markets and that’s very pleasing, of course.
What else can we look forward to in 2016?
The BMW M4 GTS is our special model with a powerful focus on race track use. We have also been thinking about how we can further hone the character of our high-performance sports cars with unlimited everyday practicality, in other words the BMW M3 and BMW M4, and increase driving dynamics of these models even more. So we will be offering a Competition Package for each of the three body variants as of spring 2016. In addition to extensive measures to further enhance driving dynamics and agility, this package also comprises various exclusive equipment details as well as an increase in engine output. We shall be publishing details of this shortly.
Mr. van Meel, thank you very much for the interview.