AMG could be making another bespoke sports car — We wish BMW M would

BMW M, News | April 13th, 2018 by 21
BMW M2 M Performance wrap 14 830x553

Awhile back, I wrote an article that asked the question of whether or not BMW M should make a bespoke sports car. Not a sports …

Awhile back, I wrote an article that asked the question of whether or not BMW M should make a bespoke sports car. Not a sports car that was based on any pre-existing BMW but something designed and built entirely by BMW’s Motorsport Division. The reason I asked this question is because of one very specific car — the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

A few years back, I drove an SLS AMG on track and, to this day, it’s still my favorite car, and my favorite engine, that I’ve ever driven. That’s right, a BMW fan’s favorite car to drive is a Mercedes-Benz. There was just something so special about the way it felt. The SLS AMG was never the fastest or sharpest or most dynamic supercar ever made, it wasn’t even any of those things when it first came out. But there was something so wonderful about it, from how sharp and tactile the steering was, to the instant thrust and throttle response from that masterpiece of an engine, to the greatest V8 noise I’ve ever heard. It blew my mind, as the SLS was nothing like any Mercedes product I’d ever driven before or since. And then it dawned on me, the SLS AMG isn’t actually a Mercedes-Benz. It’s an AMG.

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT 750x500

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The SLS AMG was a bespoke sports car, designed and built entirely by AMG. And then, the brilliant psychopaths in Affalterbach did it again, with the recent Mercedes-AMG GT, another absolutely brilliant car, although not quite as special as the SLS AMG. And now we’re hearing that AMG might be doing it again, this time to take on the Porsche Cayman. So it the question remains — if AMG can do it twice and now possibly three times, why can’t BMW M?

BMW’s M Division certainly has the know-how and the talent to do so. In fact, up until 2011, every single BMW M car had a bespoke engine. So the folks in Munich know how to do things on their own. But they just don’t seem to want to, or at least BMW brass won’t let them. Which is a shame because there’s certainly a unique space for a car like that, Porsche already occupies it with the Cayman and other automakers are trying to play catch up.

It’s no surprise that AMG wants to take on the Porsche Cayman, as it’s almost impossible to beat with a standard car’s chassis. Every other sports car in its class, with the exception of the Alfa Romeo 4C, is built off of a pre-existing car with much more humble roots. The BMW M4, for example, is built off of the standard 4 Series, which is available with a 190 hp diesel engine, so it can get great fuel economy. Same goes for the BMW M2. But the Cayman is built off of a bespoke chassis designed only to be a balanced, delicate and sublime sports car. Therefore, it is one. No wonder the BMW M2 or M4 can rarely, if ever, beat the Cayman at its own game.

Porsche Cayman GT4 COTA 15 750x500

If BMW wants to truly take on the Cayman, or this potential AMG rival, it’s going to need something unique from its M Division. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven the new Cayman but it’s a significantly sharper car than the M4, or even the beloved M2. It’s immediately noticeable that the Cayman is a sports car from birth, not a normal commuter car pumped up with steroids. The BMW M4 is good but the Cayman is special.

Now, one could argue that this is a small segment to play in and it costs too much money to develop cars like that. However, if anyone has the funds, it’s BMW, being one of the most profitable automakers in the world, year in and year out. The problem is that the Bavarians seem to be moving in a different direction entirely, aiming more at electrification and autonomy. Which is very important for the brand and understandable but it would be nice to see BMW dedicate some time and funds to a special sports car before the fun is over and we all have to switch to electric cars.

Something small, lightweight, pure and entirely bespoke from BMW M would be absolutely incredible. It’s likely never to happen, though, and that’s disappointing. The sight of AMG possibly getting in on the action is just salt in the wound. If there’s ever a chance, though, it’s now. It’s no secret that the Germans love to copy each other and if AMG makes something like a bespoke Cayman competitor, it might be too tempting for BMW M to resist. We can only hope. So start pulling for an AMG-built Cayman competitor because it could mean a BMW M one as well.

21 responses to “AMG could be making another bespoke sports car — We wish BMW M would”

  1. JRobUSC says:

    They had an opportunity to do this with the i8. The i8 is light, has the lowest center of gravity of any BMW model, and handles amazingly well considering the suspension and tires BMW saddles it with. Give it a real M suspension, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and an extra 150hp, and BMW would have had a true halo car. All the rumors of a 100th anniversary i8s pumping out 450hp+ amounted to exactly squat, and instead years later we get an i3s no one asked for and a roadster that is years too late. I’ve never seen a manufacturer waste a PR opportunity the way BMW wasted the i8. It’s beyond saddening, frankly it makes me mad.

    • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

      Because BMW aren’t PR, they are reality, M is their skunkworks that has resulted in dozens of cars over decades. Daimler had to buy an independent tuner to compete (as VAG had to buy Lamborghini for the R8 to exist), their hype car is being made under contract in the U.K. As for bespoke M, didn’t the M1 engine come from the racing CSL batmobile & also go into M5 & M6? BMW M have always been the height of the brand, across the range. If the roadster is years too late, where is its competition? Years later? As with the 507 and M1, i8 is ahead of its time.

      • maxnix says:

        The R8 is another sales failure and will not be replaced.

        • M. says:

          The 1st gen wasn’t such a failure, that’s why there’s a 2nd gen. Anyway, the same applies to A5 which now, the current gen, is such an off if I’m looking at the non-facelifted 1st gen.
          These cars are missing the point from start – an RS5 is simply just a boat, a heavy one.

  2. Martin43 says:

    Hello. A very nice concept. I like it very much. Here you have an equally interesting movie. Maybe something of this will be useful to you. Link: https://youtu.be/Gg8zSOQ1k2U

    Regards.

  3. Tumelo Malumane says:

    Perhaps Merc should update the SLR McLaren. I know it prolly won’t happen, but even if they do, who’s to say it’ll be as iconic?
    I’m talking about Merc because clearly they listen to their fans, BMW has a 3 day long speech explaining why they don’t wanna do what we’re asking from it. We’ll probably never see a bespoke M, that makes me sad because I lost hope.

    • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

      Name a bespoke M.

      • Per Pilgrim says:

        M1

        • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

          Not the engine, came from racing, used in M5, M6. Italian designed, intended manufacture as well until Lamborghini folded.

          • maxnix says:

            The engine was based on a modified stock block with a custom head from racing experience.

            Exactly what do you think bespoke means?

      • Tumelo Malumane says:

        There isn’t any, that’s what I’m saying.

        • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

          So a company with no history of a dedicated M model, who have issued a warnings earning as they increase their R&D budget on autonomous, EV, expanding existing & building new factories, should divert human & financial resources to compete with AMG-sourced Mercedes (which exist only because Daimler bought an independent tuner from former employees) & 4 cyl. Porsche (which VAG have already announced will return to 6 cyl. next gen.)? Grateful none of the typists here on fantasyblog have any actual influence over BMW corporate decisions. Fwd. still bad though, right? Since they will exist & superdupercar won’t, have you fellows considered another brand?

          • Tumelo Malumane says:

            The thing is, other brands aren’t BMW, so I think I’ll wait till M can make a bespoke of their own. I’m the meantime I’ll keep saving up till I can afford a BMW.

          • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

            Good! In the meantime enjoy the brand because they are BMW, not Porsche or AMG – independent>corporate!

  4. maxnix says:

    Remember, the M1 was a sales failure.

  5. Icebreakerr says:

    they should make a bespoke sports car

  6. M. says:

    M won’t make any bespoke models as long as there are money that could be invested in expanding the overall brand – I think the BMW’s approach of creating as many cars as they’re producing to be the best in their class is far better than creating another M1 to highlight the company’s capability. And this way, I’m glad they will introduce the 8, as long as they are targeting a Vanquish or a Continental rather than an S Coupe. (I know, I know – the target is Panamera after all, with that 8 Gran Coupe)

    But one thing I’m sure of is that BMW is never setting the bar too high in terms of product thinking; is something between average and high for them. As a comparison, Mercedes is advertising a more-luxurious-than-a-Rolls car anytime, which is nothing but a bad thing.
    This conservative approach could be a win though – after all, it is for now.
    Also, don’t forget that BMW doesn’t use Renault diesels in their cars, like Merc in their Cs and other below slotted models. LOL

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  8. Marcel Lukačić-Marca says:

    I really want bespoke M car. This electricity makes me sick, it just ruins the cars, makes them soulness. SLS was amazing, I still think it’s the best Mercedes ever made. AMG GT is also great, but it isn’t as special and it doesn’t sound nearly as good as the SLS did. M division could do something with i8, but it’s too late now, instead we get “sporty” versions of i3.:/

  9. TheBingoBalls says:

    Mercedes-AMG potentially making a bespoke sports car has no, nor should it have any sort of significant effect on BMW and their plans. Two companies structured differently. What does it say when Mercedes, who has the financial backing and resources will not continue the S-Class coupe and cabriolet, two cars that are the ultimate expression of what Mercedes is, next generation? The reason why Mercedes discontinuing those two models is the reason why BMW will not make highly bespoke cars.

    • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

      This page is funny, Cayman/AMG/bespokeM debate, ignoring that the new Z4 is imminent. M Roadsters have always been great.

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