Do you think M can always offer a car at this price point?
“I would say it’s the other way around there. If you look at potential customers, they have some limits. So there are, let’s say, organic price limits that people have. Of course, you can go up and up and up. But then you lose just a lot of customers and fans. So of course we will try to also offer in the future cars in this price range.”
Does M still have a lot of customers who care about lap times?
“Well, I think the the character is why you buy a car. So I think 100% of our customers value the character of the car. Of course, if you ask how many of them really go to a track, I’d say it’s it’s quite a high number. I can’t tell you how hig,h but in the United States, we know that there’s a big number of of customers who go to tracks with their own vehicles. But also in Europe, there are fan groups that meet each other and then they go to a track, or they come to our M driving-experience days.
“But I think the thing is that you know that you can do that with a car. And the other thing is that with an M, this precision and agility is not something you only feel on the track. If you start the engine and put on the seatbelt, it’s like getting in a race car. You have this feeling: ‘Okay, this is serious business, I’m one with the machine.’ And even if you drive at only 30mph, you will feel this precision. If you’re just in inner-city driving and turning in to a traffic light… it’s a little bit difficult to describe. A lot of cars you turn and you just corner. With this, it’s precision work; you’re having fun just driving through the city.”
Do you still take a lot from motorsport programmes when you’re developing a road car?
“Yes, because motorsport teaches you how to make a car precise. In motorsports, if you’re not precise, you can’t win.
“So that’s also something you want to have here, and that’s something we take from the race cars into the series-production cars. And that’s also the story behind what we did when we started with the M3 and M5 a long time ago. We said: ‘You don’t need to decide if you’re driving a race car or a sedan, you can have both in one.’”