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Frank Van Meel, head of BMW’s M division, told Car Advice in a report that M cars will “for sure” feature some form of electrification by the end of next decade. Electrification can include minor enhancements like a 48-volt hybrid system or more in-depth solutions like plug-in hybrid systems and fully battery-electric powertrains.
Van Meel admitted the electrification process will come in a “step-by-step” manner and timing will be important. Since M places a major emphasis on vehicle weight, technology advances will dictate when electrification starts to proliferate more.
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“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,” he said.
Purists may balk at the idea of an electrified M car, but Van Meel said the team always has one goal: make sure the car drives like it came from M branch.
He noted the division has used four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and a naturally-aspirated V8s in the past for the banner M3, while a turbocharged inline-six resides under the hood today. Moral of the story, per the M chief? The engine never dictated the car, and electrification shouldn’t either.