According to Dirk Hacker, BMW M's Vice President of Engineering, the company's future product path will inevitably lead towards electrified powertrains. However speaking to UK mag Auto Express, Hacker said precisely when that happens depends on how easily the technology can be integrated.
“We’ll need to look at the weight implications of electrification,” Hacker said.
“What is the compromise? Are we ready now or do we need to take a look at some special structural solutions for the future?”
“The weight of the cars is very important,” Hacker continued.
“I don’t think it’s the best idea to get more and more power into these models. Our philosophy is to get the right balance between power and performance.”
Hacker also ruled out a purely-electric M car, saying that M car owners were "not interested in driving without the combustion engine". That said, an all-electric drive mode may find its way onto the spec sheet to satisfy emissions legislation.
BMW has dabbled with performance-oriented hybrids before, the most notable of which was the E90-generation BMW ActiveHybrid 3 (below).
That car used a 40kW/210Nm assistance motor in conjunction with a 225kW/400Nm turbocharged petrol six, and rocketed to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds while sipping 5.9 l/100km on average. In terms of performance, it sat roughly halfway between a 335i and an M3.
It's entirely conceivable that BMW's M Division could take that concept and turn up the wick to M car levels, but Hacker wasn't willing to divulge any details on precisely what the company was working on - or indeed when it would surface.
Watch this space.
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