Several BMW officials have reportedly confirmed the next-generation M3 / M4 will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Several BMW officials have reportedly confirmed the next-generation M3 / M4 will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

According to The Detroit Bureau, the model will use an upgraded TwinPower 3.0-liter six-cylinder that produces at least 100 Nm (73 lb-ft) more than today's car.  One BMW M executive went on to say the engine would power the rear wheels while an electric motor (or motors) would motivate the front wheels.  The hybrid system is also rumored to have a KERS-like recovery system as well as an electric-only range of roughly 20 miles (32 km).

Unsurprisingly, some employees have been critical of a plug-in hybrid M car as they fear the weight could spoil the performance. However, lithium-ion batteries are becoming lighter and the next-generation M3 / M4 will use more carbon fiber than today's model.

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