Start a GoFundMe page, buy a billboard – if you want BMW to build the stunning, 600-horsepower (441-kilowatt) Vision M Next concept, that’s what it might take. According to BMW Chief of Engineering, Klaus Frohlich, the company might consider a production version of the concept, but only if there’s enough interest from potential buyers.
"We deliver what we promise," Frohlich notes in a roundtable interview with journalists at BMW’s NextGen conference in Munich. "In the end, I persuaded my CFO to support the project," he says. " But the possible road to production is in the hands of all of us – or more importantly, buyers potentially interested in taking home a production version. "This time I rely on you," Frohlich says to the journalists in attendance. "You have to write that you like it."
Gallery: BMW Vision M Next Concept
It’s a bit of a boilerplate quote, but Frohlich continues on with specifics detailing the potential for a production Vision M Next concept. For one, it would need to remain a lightweight plug-in – not transition to a pure EV. Frohlich estimates 3,500 to 3,700 pounds (1,588 to 1,678 kilograms) would be the ideal weight for the plug-in coupe. The current i8 tips the scales at 3,394 lbs (1,539 kg). A pure EV, Frohlich says, would weigh closer to 4,200 lbs (1,905 kg).
A production Vision M Next would also use some of the same components of the current i8. The i8's carbon monocoque tub would carry over most notably, he says. But the current, too-skinny P215 front and P245 rear tires wouldn't; the Vision M Next concept rides on wider tires to accommodate all the extra oomph, and so would a production version.
At first glance, we’re enthralled by the Vision M Next Concept. The sharply styled concept finished in a two-tone matte Thrilling Orange and Cast Silver paint job would make an appropriate successor to the current i8. That is if the i8 gets a successor at all. And with 600 horsepower (441 kilowatts) courtesy of a four-cylinder gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, the Vision M Next Concept is more than just a pretty face.