Downsizing is definitely a trend these days. It’s becoming more and more common and manufacturers must find a way to deliver even more performance, while the engines are getting smaller. One trick they could use is to employ a hybrid powertrain, with a small electric motor to fill in the torque gaps in the performance graphs. However, we might still be quite far away from seeing such a solution employed on BMW M cars, according to a new report.
Speaking to BMW M manager of product Carsten Pries at the recent Los Angeles Auto show, Australian magazine Cars Guide reports that he was pretty adamant about electrification not being possible at this stage. The technology isn’t mature enough right now and BMW M doesn’t have the habit of using tech until they are sure it fits the profile of the cars. The same process can be seen throughout the brand’s history, as Pries mentioned.
“As far as the EV future for M cars, it’s not easy to predict when it will be ready for us, or good enough for us. And we showed clearly in the past, with technology like all-wheel drive and turbocharging, the technology has to qualify for what we aim at with M high-performance cars; it has to add to the driving dynamics, the agility, the precision, then it qualifies for our models. If you look back at turbocharging technology, the response times were not considered appropriate for an M performance car, so we held off on using it until we’d come up with our own solution,” he said.
Getting even more precise, Pries said “Today, BEVs carry a lot of weight with them, therefore the technology would be more appropriate if the weight of the batteries came down.”
Therefore, it looks like if you’re waiting for a hybridized or electric M car, you should curb your enthusiasm. Nevertheless, cool, fun to drive hybrids will still come out. One will be the production version of the BMW Vision M Next, but that car won’t be a pure M model but more along the lines of BMW i8 successor.