Honda F1 website

JULY 30, 2003

Why BMW turned down V8 concept

BMW was the engine company which recently blocked the idea of dropping Formula 1 power levels by reducing engines to 2.4-litre V8 units rather than the current 3-litre V10s. The argument was not that the new concept was going to be more expensive but rather that the Munich firm is about to introduce V10-powered M5 and M6 models in the course of the next two or three years. The move is part of a campaign to attack Mercedes-Benz in the high-performance sector, where the AMG Mercedes models are very popular. There will also be new M3 and M4 models. The company is also planning to introduce some limited edition lightweight CSL models which will feature considerable carbon technology, some of which has been gleaned from BMW's association with Williams in F1.

It is worth noting that Volkswagen is also planning a new luxury car to go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Benz E Class and the BMW 5 Series. This will be introduced in 2006 and aims to help push the company's sales in the United States. There is a danger, however, that this will cut into Volkswagen subsidiary Audi's markets.