BMW’s performance division will not follow Mercedes-AMG’s strategy of offering downsized engines for its models. Instead, BMW M will keep its current inline-six and V8 motors until it eventually moves to electric powertrains. No three- and four-cylinder mills with electric motors and batteries are being considered, BMW M’s boss Frank van Meel confirmed in a recent interview.
Commenting on many different topics to CarExpert, van Meel said putting a smaller engine under the hood of a full-blown M model in combination with big batteries simply "would not be the right way" for the company. Electrification will play a role in the transition to fully electric M vehicles – take the XM with its electrified 4.4-liter V8 for example – but electric motors will have a supporting role in the process.
"That’s not the way we see it because we want to have a strong base engine anyway. So, for us, going to smaller combustion engines in combination with bigger batteries would not be the right way. For us, then the step will be to go purely electric right away. And do that in a proper way,” van Meel told the online publication.
And what about those purely electric M cars? Apparently, they're not coming to market anytime soon as van Meel believes the EV technology is not ready yet for a track-focused machine – one that can provide "continuous power output in a significant way."
"It has to do one or two laps [of the Nurburgring Nordschleife] at full speed, actually, then with the battery, if you go, let’s say over 250 kilometers per hour, you won’t get any much further anyway. So that’s currently the restriction," the CEO added.