The future of BMW's M performance division could include electromechanical steering, a tighter connection with BMW's core engine architecture... and a three-cylinder mill producing as much as 231kW.
Speaking with Car & Driver, BMW M's Friedrich Nitschke revealed a number of key plans for the German carmaker's legendary performance arm.
Mr Nitschke said that future M Division cars will be less likely to get their own unique engine architecture, instead utilising massively worked-over versions of BMW's powertrains.
“At the core of their architecture, our engines will be closer to BMW AG engines,” Mr Nitschke said.
“But they will be optimized for the specific needs of M customers, so we can still essentially speak of standalone engines.”
As for electromechanical power steering systesms, Nitschke believes the technology is now suitably advanced to warrant its use in M models.
“Without confirming any product speculation, it is safe to assume that we will offer electromechanical power steering in the future,” Mr Nitschke said.
“The technology is now fully on par with a good hydraulic power-steering system.”
Mr Nitschke went on to rule out all-wheel-drive in most future M Division cars, for now, saying that feedback from customers would determine if it ever eventuated.
And, speaking on BMW's new 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine range, Mr Nitschke claims his division can screw as much as 231kW from the new mill.
“It is possible to reach around 185 to 200 horsepower per litre (138 to 149kW) in a forced-induction three-cylinder and we have 1.5 litres of displacement,” Mr Nitschke said.
“Such an engine - which, by the way, sounds very similar to a six-cylinder engine - would have over 310 horsepower (231Kw), and we are not even at the limit there.”
“Generally speaking, I could imagine such an engine.”
Generally speaking, we can hardly wait.