The Munich csi team has once again proven how creativity, development and design know-how can be perfectly connected with demand and responsible management tasks, in the new luxury sports car series from BMW.
Vigilant readers - including, of course, yourselves - will know that we have already assisted in various BMW M projects. More precisely, over the last eight years, the Munich csi development team constructively supported all M models up to 2019, with the exception of the BMW M2 and special models. For this reason, we were not overly surprised at the request in January 2016 to develop the body work and external components for the new M8. However, the development responsibility with which we were commissioned by BMW M GmbH was new.
For the first time, all the commissioned components with the function of sub-project management for a BMW M vehicle were awarded to us. As sub-project management, we were therefore no longer responsible for design alone, but for the entire component development, from the initial design to successful series production in the factory, taking into consideration material, deadline and cost targets. A great honour and also a huge responsibility and challenge for our Munich team!
“Of course, we also wanted to do justice in this complex project to the trust put in us by the MBMW Group and BMW M GmbH,” remembers Marco Zengerle, csi team leader for exterior and lightweight construction in Munich. “It helped that we had already been transferred the design strategy approval responsibility from BMW for some M5 components. Step by step, or vehicle by vehicle, the cooperation with BMW became closer and the orders became more extensive. We are, of course, very pleased about this and it motivates us to do our best.”
The task that was set to us:
The development professionals from the Munich csi team worked in close cooperation with BMW M GmbH to realise, on one hand, the body work components which were necessary to implement the engine/chassis performance of the BMW M. This means we had to adjust or redevelop body work reinforcements, air ducts, underbody panelling and heat insulation shields in order to achieve the driving characteristics requested by the BMW Group. On the other hand, we were commissioned with the development of elements which emphasise the extremely sporty look of the M8. The various exterior parts included, among other things, the bumpers with the striking air intakes at the front and the exhaust system at the rear, the side panels adapted to the widened chassis and the carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) roof.
Speaking of CFRP: because sport fans are more excited than ever about the special appearance and haptics, as well as rigidity and weight of CFRP, i.e. carbon, csi also developed an exclusive CFRP package for the basic version of the new exterior parts. With this, new coupés as well as BMW 8 series can be made even more sporty. Because part of our order from Munich also includes that, as TPL, we also take care of the M sports package for the BMW 8 series.
“As the department responsible for development, we have managed all coordination with the BMW Group departments involved over the last four years, from conception to series maturity. So we basically had to deal with all the departments, such as design, test protection, the function specialists, quality, the purchasing department, assembly planning, production integration in the factory, logistics and the nominated manufacturers,” reported Igor Karachun and Tobias Zollner (both BMW M8) as well as Kilian Dankenbring and Jakob Strötz (both series 8 M sports package) as sub-project managers for employees at csi Munich. “Coordinating and accomplishing all this on time - including the various, normal process concept changes - was a sport; and therefore right up our street!”
maintaining the overview, always and everywhere.
“With the roughly 350 body work components (8 series sports package and BMW M8) which we supervised and took responsibility for, always remaining up to date and maintaining an overview was not always easy,” admits Marco Zengerle at csi with a chuckle. “However, by re-building and reinforcing our team, we were able to stick to all the specifications and comprehensively serve the BMW Group.”
Incidentally, production is also about always selecting the correct parts for all the variants. Which is why the long-term, good cooperation of csi with the BMW Group also counts in this - very practical - point. Because this meant reference could be made to the processes and the assembly environment and appropriate solutions could be developed.
“For me, it’s still fascinating even after 12 years to experience how an initial idea or request can result in a real product,” continues Marco Zengerle. “In order to get to the target quickly and efficiently, at csi we generally think about factors such as the planned number of parts, costs or special framework and production conditions, even during the initial concept. At the same time, we analyse where the sticking points and risks could be in the implementation. When we have an impression of the task, the development work can begin. And this is only completed when both we and the customer are satisfied. So, when everything is fits.”
That’s easily said, but it’s hard work and requires not only expert knowledge and experience but also masses of flexibility and stamina. The fact that we have all of this in our team is now demonstrated with a look at the new BMW M8 series: everything really does ‘match up’ here. And that is precisely the goal for the next projects which are already ‘in the making’ at csi in Munich - we are looking forward to them and we will also be sure to provide updates.”