A senior North American BMW executive has ruled out the possibility of a BMW M7 joining the model lineup in the near term.
Paul Ferraiolo, BMW North America’s manager of product planning and strategy, spoke to Motor Trend at the recent LA auto show about the company’s new model pipeline.
Regarding an M version of the BMW 7 Series to tackle the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and S65 AMG, Ferraiolo says: “We feel really good with what we’ve got with Alpina. The M adds sort of a track-element to that, and I don’t know if there’s a lot of demand for the 7 Series on the track.”
Given that the USA is the largest market for the company’s various M cars, that seems to be a pretty definitive statement for now.
The current BMW Alpina B7 features a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 under the bonnet. The Alpina fettled engine churns out 397kW of power and 730Nm of torque, which is funnelled to the ground via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
A 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 312km/h is possible in the rear-wheel drive version of the B7. The all-wheel drive version is 0.1 seconds faster to 100km/h, but has a lower top speed of 310km/h. Long wheelbase models are 0.2 seconds slower than their short wheelbase equivalents.
Ferraiolo was a little less willing to dismiss a crossover between BMW’s M division and the newly created i range of environmentally conscious vehicles, which includes the plug-in hybrid i8 supercar and i3 electric hatchback. Any cross polination would result in technologies honed in an i vehicle, like carbon fibre construction, appearing in an M car.
For those who fear that BMW is chasing too many niches and releasing too many models, it may be a good time look away. According to Ferraiolo: “When we see something that could work, we go after it, so it’s not something that has a finite ending when we run out of numbers. The market is always evolving and we’re always looking how we can exploit the market.”