Originally Posted by footie
I was only using the R8 as an example of a manufacturer better know for producing beautifully built and fast but ultimately boring and safe motorcars in the eyes of the majority. No one would have thought that Audi would succeed where both BMW and Mercedes have failed. I put that down to basically re-badging a Gallardo and put it's technology into and equally beautiful shell, but the re-badge on it's own wouldn't have been enough, Audi had to be seen as the saviour to Lamborghini, to turn that failing company around and make it appear to the rest of the world that Audi's technical know-how was responsible for Lamboghini's success. This alone is the reason in my eyes as to why the R8 has been accepted as an equal to Porsche, Ferrari and even Lamborghini but Audi wisely keep it's pricing modest by supercar standard, after all it is still an Audi.
Audi succeed first time round, with BMW they have already tried with the M1 and sadly that car fell flat of it's face, to revive their supercar program and base it on a car that failed last time round it wrong. BMW have the ability to build an amazing good supercar but is ability enough to win over buyers, that is the only point I was trying to make and not turn it into an Audi vs BMW thing.
Audi were lucky, at that time Lamborghini were in problems and regardless of their failings they were the one true rival to the greatest supercar company of them all (Ferrari). BMW don't have the luxury of a failing supercar brand to buy out, but if they can ride the current economical storm there may well be a few to pick from.
I understand what you're saying. True points, and I'd like for this not to be an Audi/BMW thread as well.
I just want to address that the M1 failure was more of Lamborghini's wrong-doing than BMW's. BMW handed the car over to Lambo. Lamborghini's financial situation forced them to hand the car back over to BMW after only seven prototypes were built. It's mostly a matter of poor coordination between the two companies, not simply BMW.
It's not fair to draw comparisons and say that BMW fell flat on its face with its first attempt and compare it to the R8. Different times, different financial situations (although I guess they're pretty similar right now), and Lambo ended up hurting, not aiding, development.