Interview

BMW M Cars Will All Be Electrified By 2030

That’s according to BMW M boss Frank Van Meel.

BMW has already made clear its intentions to increase hybridization and full-on electrification of its lineup over the next few years, but what about its high performance M division? CarAdvice recently spoke with M division chief Frank Van Meel regarding this very subject. “For sure, all M vehicles will be electrified by the end of the next decade. That’s going to happen step-by-step. The important question is the timing question – what’s the right time for that? If you’re too late then you’re too late, but if you’re too early then you don’t have the ‘straight to the point’ technology.”

As always, timing is everything and Van Meel and his team are going about this very wisely. “Look at today’s electrification components, they are quite heavy and, for us as a motorsports company, overall vehicle weight and power-to-weight ratio is key,” Van Meel said. Point being, don’t rush. Take your time, but be aware of the clock too. And speaking of which, Van Meel also reminded those present that BMW’s upcoming modular fifth-generation vehicle architecture will include several electrification components.

“Without going too deep into details, if we do an M car in an electrified way, it should still drive like an M,” he added. “If you look at M4, we had four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and a naturally-aspirated high-revving V8. Now we have a turbocharged six and there is the question; is this the right concept or the right technology, or is there another one.

But the real question from our customers was whether the M3 was driving like an M3. I don't really care if we use a HEAT or another configuration, it should drive like an M3… The basic target is not so much the components of the technology itself. It's more the philosophy.” BMW already announced a goal to have 40 percent of its non-M car lineup to either be pure or electric or hybrid by 2025. Point being, the shift from pure internal combustion (and diesel) is well underway.

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