When it comes to power - there are no limits.
It wasn't so long ago when only supercars surpassed 500 horsepower. Today, the BMW M5 Competition is rated at 617 hp. With the growing trend of combining hybrid boost systems to internal combustion engines, power figures could easily continue to increase. But just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean that you must. For BMW M, however, there is no horsepower limit as it looks ahead to future models.
Speaking to Australia's Which Car, BMW M boss Markus Flasch made clear power increases are not difficult to accomplish. However, "power is nothing without control, right? And if there isn't something with too much power it's just a question of how you tune in and hone into a car, and how you make it accessible," he said.
"You look 10, 15 years back and if you imagined 625 horsepower in a saloon [sedan] car, you'd probably be scared. Now, I can give an M5 this 625 horsepower and only drive to my mom, in winter, and she'd still be okay. It's all just a question of how you incorporate it into a package that makes it accessible for everyone, and this is what M has always been brilliant in. Don't expect a power limit."
The final sentence is something BMW M's main rivals, specifically Audi Sport and Mercedes-AMG, need to understand. Even Porsche should pay attention. For years, there have been rumors about so-called "gentleman's agreements" between these four automakers in regards to a number of things, such as not building a direct rival to the Porsche 911. The Mercedes-AMG GT broke that agreement (if it even existed in the first place).
Flasch added that he doesn't recognize any gentleman's agreement in relation to the power limitation of M cars, so everything is fair game. And rightly so because BMW M sales have increased by 207 percent within the past five years, so clearly the brand is doing many things right.
Looking ahead, some levels of electrification are likely, though Flasch refused to discuss specifics. Above all, "We won't mess around or compromise the distinct character that our M cars have today. An electrified car, whether it's plug in the wall, battery-electric, has to take it up with the predecessor, and I know that there are physical limits, but within physical limits of working dimensions, we are going to make it happen."