BMW M pondering hybrid powertrains for future SUVs

BMW M, News | October 30th, 2019 by 2
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BMW, much like other manufacturers as well, has some really serious thinking to do regarding the future of its internal combustion engines. Considering how tight the legislation regarding tailpipe emissions is getting in certain parts of the world, we might see conventional cars disappear altogether in the next decade. That will affect M cars and M SUVs as well and chances are the biggest changes will impact the latter category first.

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That’s because the big, heavy brutes are burning a bit more fuel compared to smaller sedans and coupes. This might push certain car makers to strive to find ways of reducing emissions while still offering high-performance models. One way to do that is by creating hybrid alternatives and, according to Car Advice, that’s what BMW might go for.

In a recent meeting with press representatives from Australia, the current BMW M boss Markus Flasch said the company is already working on electrification.

“I can assure you we’re working on electrification,” Mr Flasch says. “I’ve driven petrol-electric vehicles from the M team. I’ve driven plug-in hybrids from the M team. It’s there. But I cannot disclose data. I cannot disclose a (production) start date. But we’re working on it. It’s on the shelf. The models that will see electrification won’t be the pure, the core, the most distilled projects such as the M2, 3 and 4. If we do something that will bring weight it’s very likely to be to a heavier, larger car. The X5 M today is a heavy and large car.”

There’s no clue as to what that electrification process entails but this statement does work well with our earlier report that BMW is working on a new high-performance V8 engine dubbed S68. According to our sources, this V8 could be electrified in some way, to reduce emissions and improve performance, something BMW will surely be aiming for. However, the CEO also said the BMW M division won’t move forward with electrification unless they are certain customers will like it.

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“It’s not about being the first with any particular technology. We have to be the best (but) we believe in the power of choice. I have very direct dialogue with customers… who are worried that we might dilute the power of those products today in order to be the first in new technology,” Flasch said.

“I’m not producing cars for demonstrators, for people who don’t buy them. I’m producing cars for our customers and (they have) a very, very clear opinion of what they want to see,” he added.

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