Christoph Smieskol: The BMW M3 had been built at the Regensburg plant for many years already, so they were already familiar with our demands. But for the Munich plant, this was the first time in 23 years that they were building an M automobile. The works manager and works project manager were not only 100% with us but it even felt like 180%. You could even tell from the team there what enthusiasm and motivation a car like this can generate. There were some who all but kneeled down before the first finished vehicles – the BMW M4 Coupés were literally surrounded by large groups of people.
Mr. Bohrer, the head of the Munich plant said that on a number of occasions they were called upon to learn something new. Even though they appeared surprised about a few things, they realised that was how it had to be.
When the preliminary series was finished and a few more vehicles were available at the plant, I told everyone who was involved with our car, „please take one of these cars home with you, drive it around, and if you are fully confused and cannot tell what is right or wrong – then all is well. You just have to keep on driving and at some point the moment will come when you are addicted to exactly that. Then we have done our job.“
One question that is frequently asked is how you chose the colours Austin Yellow for the BMW M4 Coupé and Yasmarina Blue for the BMW M3 Sedan?
Christoph Smieskol: We have a certain colour tradition. There are certain historically defined colours at BMW M, both with respect to blue and the different yellow hues. We have been doing this for several generations already, so the question was how to carry on with this tradition and develop it further. We don't want to keep applying the old colours but we wish to move things on as we advance towards the future. Yellow is a characteristic colour that matches the carbon-fibre parts and also goes very well with the dark wheel rims. This is where we have revived the tradition of the BMW M3 E46 and BMW M3 E36. The blue theme has also passed through the generations. Blue is one of the three colours that appear in the three stripes of the Guigaro M. Based on this, we were able to work together with the designers to find the optimum direction.
Michael Wimbeck: We even managed to have the second ever BMW M4 Coupé to leave the production line painted in Austin Yellow. You can imagine the commotion in the plant when this car passed through the line.
If you were to order one yourself, whether a BMW M3 Sedan or a BMW M4 Coupé? How would you want it to look?
Christoph Smieskol: That is a very difficult question. To begin with, I was a great fan of the BMW M4 Coupé. But now, the more I see the BMW M3 Sedan, the more I like its quite particular character. The four doors in conjunction with the large wheel arches are rather impudent.
Michael Wimbeck: I have already chosen the BMW M4 Coupé almost with the launch specification, i.e. in the same way that the car was presented to the public. In Austin Yellow, with black rims, and black full-leather upholstery. I have spent the last three years seeing to it that we produce a vehicle exactly like this and so obviously that was the one I wanted to have.
Christoph Smieskol: And in case you are unable to find a new colour that reflects your ideal wishes: we recently had a BMW M3 Sedan standing here in mineral grey, with black rims and a BMW Individual Amaro Brown interior this was indeed a fascinating colour combination.
Mr. Smieskol and Mr. Wimbeck, thank you very much for the interview.