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Car and Driver: BMW M Looking at Possible Electrification, Hybrids


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2015 BMW M3


In a report from AutoExpress that, once read, seems patently obvious on the surface, a BMW executive is quoted describing how the company’s high-performance M division is looking at hybrids and electrified vehicles down the road. (BMW itself has already dived headfirst into electrics and hybrids with the i division and plug-in-hybrid variants of every model promised in the future.) It might seem a foregone conclusion that every automaker is looking to up their fuel-economy and performance games with electrically boosted engines, but given the history BMW M has grappled with at every turn of technological advancement—dual-clutch automatic transmissions, M-badged SUVs, and turbocharging—it’s surprising to hear one of its executives so frankly describing the possibility. 



The executive in question, vice president of engineering Dirk Hacker, is quoted by AutoExpress saying, “We will look at electrification [for M cars]—I think it could be inevitable—but it depends on the possibility of increasing performance.” Hacker goes on to add that M customers aren’t exactly clamoring for hybridized performance cars for the sake of it, and that such powertrains only would be considered by those customers if they meaningfully add to the M experience. There are also concerns about weight, mostly regarding the batteries that hybrids or plug-in hybrids require. So, yes, like practically every manufacturer out there, electrification is front of mind for BMW’s M division, but Hacker’s take seems nice and measured and brand-cognizant. 


M fans will particularly appreciate the exec’s parting words: “I don’t think it’s the best idea to get more and more power into these models. Our philosophy is to get the right balance between power and performance.” With the new M2 appearing to heed that advice—especially on the heels of the latest X6 M and slightly over-mighty M3/M4 twins—Hacker’s philosophy might already be taking hold. 


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