Tesla’s next-gen Roadster and Plaid Model S may have one less rival, as reports are now circulating that BMW has canceled its plans for the Vision M NEXT.
MotorTrend first reported that the German automaker scrapped plans for the vehicle. While the exact details are unknown, it seems the coronavirus pandemic’s negative impact on the automotive industry could be a pivotal contributor to BMW’s decision to shelve the plans for the Vision M NEXT.
The Vision M NEXT held a 0-100 km/h time of 3 seconds and a top speed of 186 MPH. The car also had a BOOST+ button that would allow for additional horsepower and acceleration for a short period of time. While the car was not fully electric, it did house a small battery that would contribute around 62 miles of electric range. The Vision M NEXT was widely considered as the template for a potential successor to the BMW i8, a hybrid sports car that was once compared to the original Tesla Roadster.
BMW has promised to build at least 25 electrified cars by 2023. Most automakers have felt a sharp decline in sales, revenue, and production as a result of COVID-19, and BMW is no different. When asked about the plans to scrap the Vision M NEXT, a BMW spokesperson did not confirm nor deny the rumors. “We are not able to comment on any products that have not been officially announced,” they told MotorTrend.
The company’s recent losses may have hit BMW in a place where non-essential vehicles were the first to go, as these are usually expensive to develop, produce, and manufacture. The Vision M NEXT is no exception. The car is made of carbon-fiber, which holds a high price, and based on the car’s performance specifications, the vehicle had a rumored price tag of $200,000, the same as the next-gen Tesla Roadster.
As of now, the next-generation Tesla Roadster only has a handful of real rivals. Most notably, the Audi PB18 e-Tron comes to mind. The German automaker announced that its all-electric supercar would enter a low-volume production phase that would begin by January 2021. The vehicle has not been produced yet, but there is still some time left before its target manufacturing date.
Meanwhile, the Tesla Roadster is still the crown jewel of the electric automotive industry. Its 200 kWh battery pack allows for 620 miles of range, and its 1.9 second 0-60 mph speed is among the fastest in the industry. Details are still relatively unknown on production times for the Roadster, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated an update would be coming later in 2020.