There's no going back now .
No one should be surprised by this. In fact, BMW M chief Frank van Meel told us at Frankfurt last September that vehicle electrification is a given, regardless of whether it’s mainstream or performance cars. Autocar has now learned from the BMW division’s vice president, Dirk Hacker, that hybrid powertrain prototype testing is already underway. This is simply one step towards complete electrification, sans internal combustion. “We cannot avoid the need for electrification and it is true that we are working hybrid power already,” Hacker said.
“For now, all I will say is that we are working on a very precise technical solution, but there is no final decision on how to deploy the concept.” Not surprisingly, the M division is experiencing difficulty in weight management, given the extra heft of hybrid components. “Adding mass to performance cars is never ideal,” he added. “But if we can use electrification to install more performance, then we start to have the answers. That might be more speed, or it might be the ability for a car to be driven on electric power in a city. It might also be the case that we need different answers to that question in different cities.”
Given that, BMW will launch its all new electric technology by 2021, and there’s no doubt it’s being developed with the M division’s performance needs in mind. Remember, batteries are key in that area. “The better the batteries and the more efficient the electric motors, the better the solutions will be for M,” Hacker said. “We are working on always making better cars.” However, as long as it’s legal to do so, BMW will continue building internal combustion engined cars for as long as possible. At the same time, however, it’s preparing for what’s next.