BMW has just posted an interview with CEO BMW M GmbH Kay Segler that not only helps explain what the new M3 GTS is all about but also helps chart the couse for the future of the M Division. We ‘ve reproduced it here in its entirely but you can also go see if for yourself at the M Division website.
>Just half a year has passed since he took up his position as CEO in May 2009, and the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M have been launched as new models during this period. So it’s time to ask Dr. Kay Segler where BMW M is heading.
>MPW: Dr. Segler, BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M deviate from a number of dogmas. Turbo, all-wheel drive, automatic transmission – is this the new M?
>Segler: We have to be free of dogmas, I ask this of every staff member. It has always been a strength of M to question everything in a positive way.
>MPW: Does that mean BMW M will be taking leave of longstanding beliefs?
>Segler: Cars are created differently now. We clearly define our goals, derive the product properties from these and then decide which technology appears to be the best suited to the purpose.
>MPW: Nonetheless, there are lots of customers who are very attached to tradition. What do you have to say to these fans?
>Segler: I will say that they will continue to get fascinating products from BMW M. And I am sure that this applies more than ever before. We don’t just listen to our customers: we also act on what they say.
>MPW: What does that mean in practical terms?
>Segler: The BMW M3 GTS which we are currently preparing in our BMW M production workshopis a response to frequently expressed customer wishes. This M3 is even hotter: lower weight, more power – including an increase in capacity – and lots of technical details which were only previously available on the tuning market, if at all. Complex and highly individual offers are available ex works.
>MPW: What other features does the BMW M3 GTS offer?
>Segler: We have a chassis which can be adjusted in compression and rebound, the car is fitted with a fixed caliper brake with six pistons at the front and four at the rear, and the rear silencer is made of titanium. The aerodynamics can be adjusted at the front and rear. We provide 6-point seatbelts for the racing bucket seats, a bolted roll-over protection structure is installed as is a fire extinguisher.
>MPW: A nice package which ought to have a broad appeal.
>Segler: Yes, I strongly believe it will. If there is a detail here or there which is not to somebody’s liking, that’s not the end of the world. What we are presenting is a standard configuration. If necessary, we are flexible enough to respond to specific requests, too. After all, these vehicles are built in the BMW M production workshops – where we built the M3 GT4, too.
>MPW: Was that what sparked off the idea for the M3 GTS?
>Segler: Partly, yes. We’ve known about fans who would like more for a long time now. There are some who would like a model which is even closer to motor racing. They want to drive the car to the race track, take part in a race and then drive home again – theoretically that is possible with the BMW M3 GTS. That’s the classic club sports idea, if you like. But collectors will also be interested in this fascinating automobile.
MPW: This brings us to an important point. What is the price and how can I order the M3 GTS?
>Segler: The price for the standard configuration is 115,000 euros in Germany. Deliveries will begin next spring.
>MPW: What else can we expect from BMW M in the near future?
>Segler: Our leitmotif is: “Automobile dreams come true”. The M3 GTS sends out a clear signal here. The X5 M and X6 M have just gone out to dealerships and round off the top of our product range. But what I would most like to see is for BMW M to stay a young brand within people’s reach. This is why a product below the BMW M3 more important to me than a super sports car which is only accessible to a few. As I have already mentioned in other interviews, we are currently looking closely at the options in this area. I hope to be able to tell you more the next time we speak.
>MPW: Dr. Segler, thank you very much for the interview.