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      01-03-2018, 05:45 PM   #1
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Would you buy a small BMW roadster or one of their smaller engines for a project?

I was driving my wife’s ‘17 X1 this morning and thinking how peppy that little b48 motor really is. Had a loaner 430i and it was also peppy for being as large as it was. Got me thinking if BMW made a mid-rear engine sports car similar in size to the Honda S660 or the Mazda Miata, coupled with the B38 or B48 would make a fun little driver's car that would be relatively cheap ($30-$35k?). The question is, would it sell in the US? I know if BMW executed it right, I’d definitely buy one.

Another option would be BMW selling their B series motors as crate engines for kit cars and custom builds (dune buggy anyone?).

Would you buy?
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      01-03-2018, 06:15 PM   #2
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Y on the s660 class.
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      01-03-2018, 06:50 PM   #3
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BMW wouldn't make something like that because there's no market for it. Because they ALREADY made something similar and no one bought it.

What if I told you, at one point in the not so distant past, BMW made a car roughly 300lbs lighter than the M2, with one of the greatest inline 6 power plant ever made, that's about 50% stiffer than the M2, roughly the same size as a Porsche Cayman, came from the factory with a viscous variable LSD? And that same car sold so poorly that most BMW dealerships had to sell it for INVOICE minus a $10,000 trunk cash just to move it, which amounts to approximately $45K out the door with a REAL bespoke ///M motor that pumps out 330hp? That despite ALL efforts to give them away for virtually free, there were LESS of them made than the mighty Z8?

That there was a sister car to that, with the LAST naturally aspirated 6 cylinder from BMW pumping out 265hp, on the same stiff chassis, coming in at a scant 3,000 lbs soaking wet, and that there were FEWER of these made and sold than the previously mentioned BMW with its own ///M motor, despite it actually being sold with an automatic transmission option so that you're not turning away 90% of the population?

The truth is, it sounds great on paper. We may want it. But BMW won't make it because they know they can't sell it.
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      01-03-2018, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
BMW wouldn't make something like that because there's no market for it. Because they ALREADY made something similar and no one bought it.

What if I told you, at one point in the not so distant past, BMW made a car roughly 300lbs lighter than the M2, with one of the greatest inline 6 power plant ever made, that's about 50% stiffer than the M2, roughly the same size as a Porsche Cayman, came from the factory with a viscous variable LSD? And that same car sold so poorly that most BMW dealerships had to sell it for INVOICE minus a $10,000 trunk cash just to move it, which amounts to approximately $45K out the door with a REAL bespoke ///M motor that pumps out 330hp? That despite ALL efforts to give them away for virtually free, there were LESS of them made than the mighty Z8?

That there was a sister car to that, with the LAST naturally aspirated 6 cylinder from BMW pumping out 265hp, on the same stiff chassis, coming in at a scant 3,000 lbs soaking wet, and that there were FEWER of these made and sold than the previously mentioned BMW with its own ///M motor, despite it actually being sold with an automatic transmission option so that you're not turning away 90% of the population?

The truth is, it sounds great on paper. We may want it. But BMW won't make it because they know they can't sell it.
And yet during the same timeframe Porsche sold Boxter like hot cakes. The fact that the first one looked -very- weird, and the latter was bettered by the Boxter in every direction didn't help sales./
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      01-03-2018, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
BMW wouldn't make something like that because there's no market for it. Because they ALREADY made something similar and no one bought it.

What if I told you, at one point in the not so distant past, BMW made a car roughly 300lbs lighter than the M2, with one of the greatest inline 6 power plant ever made, that's about 50% stiffer than the M2, roughly the same size as a Porsche Cayman, came from the factory with a viscous variable LSD? And that same car sold so poorly that most BMW dealerships had to sell it for INVOICE minus a $10,000 trunk cash just to move it, which amounts to approximately $45K out the door with a REAL bespoke ///M motor that pumps out 330hp? That despite ALL efforts to give them away for virtually free, there were LESS of them made than the mighty Z8?

That there was a sister car to that, with the LAST naturally aspirated 6 cylinder from BMW pumping out 265hp, on the same stiff chassis, coming in at a scant 3,000 lbs soaking wet, and that there were FEWER of these made and sold than the previously mentioned BMW with its own ///M motor, despite it actually being sold with an automatic transmission option so that you're not turning away 90% of the population?

The truth is, it sounds great on paper. We may want it. But BMW won't make it because they know they can't sell it.
I think you missed the one big thing and thatís the price point. $45k and thatís $10k below invoice means stealerships weíre selling for $55k+. Iím talking $30-35k optioned out.

Now imagine if they dropped the ///m motor and used a basic b38/48 because thatís sufficient to move 3500lbs. Now put that b38/48 into a light roadster like the miataís 2000lb chassis, whether front or rear wheel drive, and that car will be able to move. Doesnít need a fancy ///m suspension either because the aftermarket will take care of that, but it could always be an option just like a backup camera isnít standard on entry level BMWs. Hell even the Miata doesnít have over stiff suspension.

Fiat took the Miata and put the turbo 4 in it that people wanted. Unfortunately it wasnít the eye catcher like BMW could execute and it had the name ďfiatĒ attached to it. Not to mention the minimal power bump over the miataís engine. In 2017, Mazda sold roughly 11,500+ units. BMW sold roughly 11k 2 series in 2017. Those figures are just from the US. The Miata sold the same, if not better than the 2 series and BMW makes a case for that car. If they sold the new car globally in markets where smaller cars are more desireable like japan and europe, it would make more sense.
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      01-04-2018, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe240 View Post
I’m talking $30-35k optioned out.
That's not a realistic price point for a BMW because, as a luxury car company, that is not the segment of the market that they target. The vehicle you describe would start at around $25k. BMW has the MINI brand for vehicles that can be purchased at that starting price in the specification you have in mind. Yes, I realize those are FWD, but the point here is that BMW won't price a BMW branded vehicle in MINI territory.

Consider the X1 you mention in your OP. It costs quite a bit more than an equivalent product from Ford, Honda, VW, or indeed, Mazda. A BMW sports car as you describe would, at a minimum, see a similar premium over the equivalent Miata.

Furthermore, you might have noticed that affordable sports cars are slowly dying. By and large, automotive preferences and tastes have changed, and people simply don't buy an affordable sports car as lifestyle statement piece anymore - they usually choose an SUV instead.

Regarding your question about using a BMW motor in a home-brew project, I certainly would not dismiss the idea outright, but I am pretty confident that one could get a motor that is as good, if not better, for less money from Ford or GM. BMW's engines are quality pieces of kit, but as far as $/performance, they are unlikely to be competitive in the aftermarket. In fact, even in terms of raw performance, irrespective of a lower price point, there are more capable engines out there.
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      01-04-2018, 10:37 AM   #7
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      01-04-2018, 01:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
And yet during the same timeframe Porsche sold Boxter like hot cakes. The fact that the first one looked -very- weird, and the latter was bettered by the Boxter in every direction didn't help sales./
I don't know what you're smoking, but BMW Z3 Roadster and Z4 Roadster sales far outpaced Porsche Boxster sales.

Production numbers:

Z3: 279,273
Z4 (E85): 197,950

Porsche Boxster production numbers:

986: 160,578
987: ??? (can't for the life of me find the total production number, except for a few threads and posts insinuating that the number is similar to 986)

If you mean the CAYMAN rather than the Boxster, yes the Cayman and Cayman S far outsold the E86 Z4 M Coupe and Z4 Coupe. Which goes to show you...BMW knew they couldn't possibly build a car the OP had suggested and still make money. A few of the statistics I came across shows that Porsche built and sold more Caymans in a single year than BMW did in the entire E86 production run.

There's simply no interest from BMW and BMW enthusiasts for a small, 2 seat sports car with moderate power. At least not significant enough. Most would probably just buy a Cayman/Cayman S and be done with it, although comparisons from the mid 200x's show that the Z4/Z4 M Coupes were far more visceral even though dynamically the Cayman/Cayman S were better.
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      01-04-2018, 08:43 PM   #9
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From the depiction I got you referred to the Z3M coupe (for torsional claims) and the N52KP based Z4.

I agree with you the Z3M is a very interesting car, but it looked -very- weird and that hindered sales. If it had looked like the regular Z3 it would have sold better.

There's also something to be said about the pricepoint, but as you note we'll never see a BMW at a pricepoint that would compete with Miatas and S2000
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      01-04-2018, 08:49 PM   #10
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z4m coupe.
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