BMW M Division Not Quite Ready To Take Electric Path

If you’re going for building a hypercar nowadays, you better make sure it’s a hybrid, just like the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari or the Porsche 918 Spyder. As for sports cars, it’s a whole different story.

Speaking to CarAdvice during the international launch of the new BMW X6 M, BMW M division head of product management, Carsten Pries said “The question is how many of these [electric] cars do you need in the BMW model portfolio?” – when asked whether BMW needs more electrified ‘i’ models.

“The i8 did a fantastic job to send a message to the outside world of this is how we look at sports cars in the future, including how we look at the combination of electric drive and combustion engine” added Pries. It’s quite understandable why BMW would choose to tread lightly on this matter and not force their own hand in coming up with Hybrid or EV cars that the public isn’t ready for – especially since everything has to fit their portfolio just right.

Pries also stated that “At BMW M we have to ask ourselves the question of when is it not just a certain trend. Since electric cars are still selling in very small numbers, but when is it going to be what you have to have or where the majority of customers are looking for?”.

Sure, maybe it wouldn’t be smart for BMW to mix ‘M’ with ‘i”, but exploring with hybrid powertrains for future generation M models – even though now isn’t the time for such a production vehicle, sounds really good.

And since it’s looking inevitable (at some point), you might as well be the “trend setter” and make sure that you’re the one launching say.. the world’s first hybrid performance sedan such as a hybrid M3 or M5 a couple of years down the road. Making it fully electric wouldn’t make sense yet, because these types of cars are best sellers and we don’t have the infrastructure (charging stations, power grids etc) to handle so many EVs on the road.

“Would we like to do something else stand alone? You can wake up every one of 550 employees [from M division] and they will tell you ‘yes’ – whether it’s commercially viable or sensible, that’s a different question.”

There you have it. The good news is that BMW M loves to innovate and it sounds like they’re up for making something that would “stand alone”. What that means exactly, we can’t be sure. They could be considering an all-new model or just a very different version of a current M model.

Either way, it’s pretty clear that the future is looking bright performance oriented hybrids and EVs.


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