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Tony O'Kane | Jan 26, 2012

Reports that BMW's high-performance M Division is pining after a unique supercar model of its own are nothing new - the same rumour circulated in October last year - but it appears that support within BMW for such a car is still high.

The head of BMW M, Albert Biermann, said late last year that an M-badged supercar is unlikely to happen, however sources within the division recently confirmed at the Detroit Motor Show that the business case for a bespoke supercar is still being examined.

BMW is reportedly wary of developing its own supercar because of concerns the high development costs would be difficult to recoup given the low volumes that such a vehicle would likely sell.

The M Division's current products, the 1M Coupe, M3, M5, X5 M, X6 M and the upcoming M6 are all based on existing production models, allowing cheaper development costs. A completely unique supercar, on the other hand, would be a far more expensive proposition.

There's also the fact that BMW will be releasing the i8 hybrid sports car (pictured) later this decade, which will promise a sub 5-second 0-100km/h sprint time and exceptional handling thanks to a 50-50 weight distribution and all-wheel drive.

However, the i8 doesn't quite have the numbers to keep up with the present-day supercar pack, and until a proper BMW-badged supercar is wheeled out the Bavarian brand will remain the only European luxury manufacturer without a supercar in its line-up.

For now, BMW M will be concentrating on launching its new range of M Performance cars, which will straddle the gap between BMW's regular passenger car models and the M-badged flagships like the M3 and M5.

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