There had been some rumors swirling around a while back about the next-gen, G80 BMW M3 becoming a hybrid. Admittedly, those rumors have calmed down a lot in recent months and became all but squashed when we recently saw spy photos of the next M3 without a charging port. But during those rumors’ circulation, fans were rioting at the idea of such a car. For most fans, the idea of a hybrid BMW M car is blasphemy. And maybe that’s true. But I’m starting to come around to the idea.
Let me be perfectly clear first — I do not think the next BMW M3 will be a hybrid. In fact, I’m almost convinced otherwise, thanks to comments from people at BMW M and recent spy photos. However, I do think it would be a very interesting idea if it were the case. See, the next-gen BMW M3 needs to be mighty powerful to compete with newcomers from Mercedes-AMG and Alfa Romeo, both of which have M3-competitors with over 500 hp. So if BMW wants to beat those cars, it’s going to have to at least get close to the 500 hp-mark. And it can do so in a few different ways. One of which is hybridization, which I actually think would be quite cool.
A hybrid powertrain would allow BMW to add a lot more power and torque while also completely eliminating turbo lag and increasing fuel efficiency. And it would do so a lot better than just adding water-injection, as we’ve heard rumored as well. The latter is overly complicated for little power gain, as the M4 GTS with water-injection couldn’t even break 500 hp itself. Plus, you have to refill the water in the tank every so often and it runs so much turbo boost that we worry about longevity and durability. It’s fine in the M4 GTS because that’s a specialize track car, so you can live with its quirks. But in a car designed to be driven everyday, like the M3, that can become a nuisance and/or unreliable. Also, it’s just another fluid to keep tabs on.
Plus, there’s the rumor that one of the BMW M3’s competitors might become a hybrid. We just recently learned that the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio might be getting a coupe variant with hybrid technology pulled from the Ferrari LaFerrari. It’s rumored to develop 640 hp, which is a helluva lot more than any other car in its class. Combine that power with electric torque and there wouldn’t be a car in the segment that could hope to keep up with that Alfa.
So it might make sense for BMW to go in that direction. If the wizards at BMW M could make it light enough, of course. BMW M cars are about scalpel-like handling more so than pure power, so if it could be made to handle as well, I think it might be the way to go. Imagine that, an M3 with a hybrid powertrain? Take that, Prius.