BMW M will go electric in the future for sure. Why? Because there is no way that it will sell well in the near future if it remains a petrol-only car.
Also, a plenty of countries plan to ban cars with an internal combustion engine in the next 20-30 years, therefore car manufacturers have to adapt to this situation. However, this was only a prediction based on trends until this week. Finally, BMW M CEO Frank Van Meel told journalists that all BMW M models will have electrified tech in them by the end of the next decade.
“For sure, all M vehicles will be electrified by the end of the next decade,” said Van Meel. “That’s going to happen step-by-step. The important question is the timing question – what’s the right time for that? If you’re too late then you’re too late, but if you’re too early then you don’t have the ‘straight to the point’ technology.”
However, we are talking about M cars, which have their own philosophy. It is not enough to put a powerful engine in an usual car, and then sell it as an M model. The car has to drive like an M one. Therefore, it has to be precisely engineered, and the weight, as well as the power-to-weight ratio are very important factors. This is a major concern for the Motorsport division of BMW.
“Look at today’s electrification components, they are quite heavy and, for us as a motorsports company, the overall vehicle weight and power-to-weight ratio are the key,” CEO said.
“Without going too deep into details, if we do an M Car in an electrified way, it should still drive like a BMW M. If you look at M3, we have had four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and a naturally-aspirated high-revving V8,” he said.
Additionally, Van Meel admitted that the company’s shift to its new modular fifth-generation architecture will give opportunities to add hybrid assistance sympathetically.
“Now we have a turbocharged six and there is the question; is this the right concept or the right technology, or is there another one. But the real question from our customers was whether the M3 was driving like an M3. I don’t really care if we use HEAT or another configuration, it should drive like an M3… The basic target is not so much the components of the technology itself. It’s more about the philosophy.