We’re not sure if it’s good or bad news for BMW enthusiasts, but the brand’s M division isn’t looking to launch any high performance cars powered by a four-cylinder engine.
The reason is that they cannot simply counter the deficits of such a unit without electrification, and hybridizing an engine means adding more weight, BMW M chief, Frank Van Meel, told CarAdvice earlier this week.
“We are really happy with out six-cylinder because for BMW and BMW M, that is our heritage engine. We started with six-cylinder in the M1, so it has a long history. BMW is a six-cylinder inline company and, for us, it’s an iconic engine”, said the official. “I wouldn’t do a four-cylinder standalone turbocharged with high performance, because you always have the characteristic that if you want high performance you lose the low-end torque and you lose the overall drivability you want to have from the car.”
There is, however, a way to give an engine low-end torque – electrification, but as Van Meel explained, “you are putting a lot of weight into the car, so that answer is not so easy”. The M division is working with the ‘i’ sub-brand “to have a look at the next generation of battery cells”, according to Van Meel, who added that “today is not the right time” to electrify an M car.
“With the current generation we see ‘E’ motors that are still not strong enough for M applications, and if you look at plug-in hybrids, it will add 2-300kg (440-660lbs) – which, for a car like an M3/M4 with 1500kg (3,307lbs) – would put that completely out of balance and we couldn’t re-balance that towards a typical M philosophy.”
Note: BMW M4 CS pictured