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BMW M is thinking about hybrid cars: electric drive as a performance plus

Achim Hartmann
BMW M is thinking about hybrid cars
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D ass an electric motor in combination with a conventional combustion engine can improve longitudinal dynamics is no secret. In this case, the power plus can usually compensate for the extra weight. And, for example, plug the turbo lag with charged aggregates with e-juice to improve the response of the drive. But when it comes to corners, things can be different. The many extra pounds of the electric motor and the batteries put pressure on the driving dynamics. And possibly the driver's mind.

Balance between power and performance

This is another reason why many manufacturers forego sporty hybrid models. BMW doesn't. With the i8, the Munich-based company has a hybrid athlete in its line-up. And also in the performance division M, the electric boost is hard to think about. 'We're looking at electrification. I think it could be inevitable, but it depends on the ability to increase performance,' said Autoexpress Dirk Hacker, Vice-Head of Development at BMW M GmbH.

There should be no option for a pure E-mode. 'We found out that our customers are not interested in driving without an internal combustion engine,' explains Hacker. So it boils down to hybrid athletes. But not in all circumstances. And probably only when the technical solutions are mature enough that the hybrid modules no longer reduce driving enjoyment.

'We have to look at the weight effects of electrification,' says Hacker. 'What is the compromise? Are we ready now or do we need to look at some specific structural solutions for the future?' And further: 'The weight of the cars is very important. I don't think it is the best idea to put more and more power into these models. Our philosophy is to get the right balance between power and performance.'

Future M-hybrid models will probably not only come for performance reasons. But also because the ever stricter legal regulations prompt it. Keyword: fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


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