BMW M boss Frank van Meel leaves to head up BMW total vehicle development

Champion of the all-wheel drive BMW M5 to be replaced by 8-series chief engineer

BMW M boss Frank van Meel is to move from his post to a new one, heading up BMW total vehicle development, after a relatively short stint. The move is due on October 1st and into his place within the M division will slot the chief engineer from the BMW 8-series project, Markus Flasch.

Van Meel was initially poached from Audi Quattro GmbH (now Audi Sport) to head up the division, in the process introducing lots of new elements to BMW M, such as the switchable all-wheel drive system and a torque converter automatic gearbox in the current F90 BMW M5.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Click here for our review of the BMW M2 Competition

Alongside these technical changes van Meel created a new hierarchy within the M range with halfway-house M Performance models sitting below, and full M models now split  in to Competition and CS versions with an eventual return of flagship CSL cars planned. As van Meel has remained under the BMW umbrella, we don’t expect this product plan to change much once his successor is in place.

There is plenty of incoming product that will bare van Meel’s stamp too, including the first BMW X3 M and X4 M, the all-new M8, BMW M’s first ever hybrids and even a hot hatch.

His replacement Markus Flasch has come into the role after being chief project engineer of the new 8-series, and will approach the next generation M3/4 as his first real test. The standard 3-series is now only weeks away from its reveal, but rumors of a hybridised all-wheel drive powertrain might make the next M3 the biggest step yet for the M division, a mighty undertaking for the new M boss in his initial 18 months in the job. 

It will be interesting to see if Flasche has his own ideas as to the future of BMW M, and what stamp he’ll leave on the iconic M division.

Recommended

Visit/bmw/21155/2020-bmw-ix3-suv-priced-from-ps61900
BMW

2020 BMW iX3 SUV priced from £61,900

17 Sep 2020
Visit/bmw/201827/bmw-m-performance-parts-pricing-availability-and-range
BMW

BMW M Performance parts: pricing, availability and range

21 May 2020
Visit/bmw/202626/this-bmw-m8-competition-is-faster-than-a-mclaren-p1
BMW

This BMW M8 Competition is faster than a McLaren P1

15 May 2020
Visit/bmw/202515/new-bmw-330e-2020-review
BMW

New BMW 330e 2020 review

24 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/1-series/203095/bmw-128ti-revealed-as-direct-hot-hatch-rival-to-vw-golf-gti
BMW 1 Series

BMW 128ti revealed as direct hot hatch rival to VW Golf GTI

BMW has revealed a simplified front-wheel drive hot 1-series called 128ti that will sit below the M135i performance flagship
16 Sep 2020
Visit/nissan/370z/201879/nissan-z-proto-revealed-v6-twin-turbo-six-speed-manual-and-a-catch
Nissan 370Z

Nissan Z Proto revealed – V6 twin-turbo, six-speed manual, and a catch

It’s the Nissan sports car we’ve been waiting 11 years for, but don’t hold your breath for it in the UK
16 Sep 2020
Visit/mclaren/203105/five-mclaren-senna-gtr-lms-in-le-mans-liveries-revealed
McLaren Senna

Five McLaren Senna GTR LMs in Le Mans liveries revealed

Celebrating 25 years since McLaren’s domination of the 1995 Le Mans 24hr with the F1 GTR
18 Sep 2020
Visit/advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
Features

Used car deals of the week

We’ve perused the used car pages so you don’t have to. Here’s what caught evo’s fancy this week
16 Sep 2020