BMW to Offer All-Electric M Cars: Report
Hybrids coming in the nearer future
BMW already offers the i8 plug-in hybrid, but it has yet to bring out an all-electric high-performance car, let alone one tuned by the storied M performance division. According to Auto Express, that may soon change.
"It will happen, but the question is when is that going to happen," BMW performance boss Frank Van Meel told Auto Express. "Currently we still have a power to weight issue with electrification which makes that difficult to fit into a motorsports philosophy."
"We already see the stop/start feature coming to M vehicles and the next step is electrification," Van Meel said. "At the end it will also be pure electric, but it's going to take some time." He also noted that power-to-weight issues remain a challenge in bringing electrified powertrains to sporty cars.
Before it offers fully electric M cars, BMW will take baby steps toward electrification by bringing hybrid technology to the M lineup. The goal will be to boost performance rather than fuel economy, however.
Meel dispelled notions that the M division could develop a new i8 performance car. "That wouldn't make sense," Meel said. "It's two different directions. M is about uncompromised motorsport, whereas Project i looks into the future and is uncompromised efficiency."
BMW hopes to sell 100,000 plug-in and battery electric vehicles this year. In the long term, BMW will launch an X3 EV in 2020 as well as the iNext EV with autonomous capability for 2021. A fuel cell vehicle is on the docket for 2025, while a new solid-state electrolyte battery is scheduled to arrive for 2026.