BMW adapts to pandemic-driven demands, creates XM SUV model.
There has never been a true replacement for the BMW M1, but it appears that the company did have one in development – the i16. Nevertheless, BMW ultimately chose to scrap the idea of a supercar and instead focus on creating the XM hybrid SUV. Recently, BMW’s design chief Domagoj Dukec shared a photo on Instagram, giving us an idea of what the i16 could have looked like.
To start off, let’s quickly review the origins of the BMW i16 project, which stemmed from the Vision M NEXT concept that was unveiled by the automaker in 2019. The futuristic sports car drew inspiration from the classic M1 and sported a retro-futurism design. It was built on the same carbon composite platform as the i8 and could be fitted with either a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder engine or the B58, which can also be found in models like the BMW 3 Series and the Toyota Supra.
Domagoj Dukec is an individual who shares a post on the internet. The post can be seen on the online platform Instagram, where Dukec has an account under his name. His profile showcases various photos and videos that he has posted for others to view.On the popular social media platform, Instagram, there lies an account owned by Domagoj Dukec. By sharing his creativity with the world, Dukec has filled his profile with a multitude of captivating images and compelling videos. Users who stumble upon his page are in for a visual treat as they scroll through his feed.
In terms of design, the i16 bears a striking resemblance to its forerunner, the i8. Its frontal appearance boasts sizable kidney grilles and headlights reminiscent of the Z4. On the other hand, the slender taillights at the rear share similarity with those on the BMW iX. The car’s aesthetics are further enhanced by vibrant red accents, resembling those seen on the BMW XM Label.
Despite its initial promise, the BMW XM supercar project was ultimately cancelled. The brand’s design chief cited the challenges posed by the pandemic as a major obstacle. This is not surprising, considering that low-slung halo cars have historically struggled in the market (just look at the underwhelming sales of the Lexus LFA). Instead, BMW plans to focus on their new luxury SUV model, the XM, which is predicted to be more in line with the current trend of SUVs being highly sought after by consumers.
The changing market demands pushed car manufacturers to create their initial SUV models, such as Aston Martin’s DBX. Additionally, the demand for ultra-luxury vehicles showed resilience in the face of the worldwide health crisis, making the XM a logical selection.
Due to the changing consumer demands, the i16 would likely lose its mainstream appeal and become a product catering only to a niche market. This could potentially result in financial losses for the company once the pandemic has passed.
Undoubtedly, the i16 would have been the perfect successor to the M1. However, unforeseen circumstances prevented BMW from creating a proper flagship supercar. Despite this setback, Dukec maintains a positive outlook on the future of the brand, stating, “We will never stop dreaming and pushing the boundaries.” In the meantime, we must settle for the XM, which currently holds the title of the most powerful M model ever produced.