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BMW is reportedly developing a new exotic sports car, inspired by both the original M1 and the new Vision EfficientDynamics Concept. According to a high-up source inside BMW, cited by EVO magazine, "M Division should have its own supercar built in three years."

The plan is to have the car ready by 2012, but BMW is first concentrating its efforts on increasing market share and growing the M brand with a new M car based on the 1 Series.

This new flagship for the brand would use a hybrid setup and likely also be inspired visually by the stunning and progressive design of the Vision ED concept, which debuted at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show. It isn't likely to be a plug in hybrid, but a hybrid system is expected. And rather than a diesel engine, it would use conventional gasoline motor, likely the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found in cars like the X6 ActiveHybrid.

The idea would be to have two electric motors providing low rpm power, while the turbocharged gasoline engine would be used at higher revs. A regenerative braking system would also be a part of the package.

BMW hasn't officially confirmed the project but it's likely to debut in 2012, to take on the SLS from rival German automaker Mercedes. To a certain extent it would seem rather late to the party by 2012, but Mercedes's planned electric SLS isn't due out until 2015.

More: Report: BMW to Build Hybrid M1 Supercar on AutoGuide.com
 

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People may not like the label of hybrid, but I get what they are doing, and it makes sense to me. Six years ago one of my coworkers and I (both engineers) were discussing how electrical motors could be used for performance and to reduce drivetrain power loss. Only back then we didn't think of it as a hybrid, just as a good idea.

Let's see how it turns out. I like it.

Just don't expect good gas mileage. The same technology used to sip gas slowly will be applied for performance purposes on this car, it seems.
 
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