According to a new report, the next generation BMW M3 could feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a pure electric range of 32 km (20 miles) to make the car more environmentally friendly.
TheDetroitBureau.com states that BMW will look up to its expertise and technology gained in the motorsport arena and from having developed the ‘i’ range of electric vehicles to produce this plug-in hybrid system. Furthermore, it would show traits of the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) technology used in F1. “We have a lot to learn from BMW i,” a senior executive who has worked on BMW i and BMW M told the publication.
The German automaker’s aim is to fulfill the needs of the driving enthusiasts by providing more power but at the same time, complying with the stringent fuel and environmental restrictions coming up around the world, particularly in Europe and the United States. “We have to go that way,” confirmed the CEO of BMW North America, Ludwig Willisch.
The torque output of the new M3 will be increased by 100 Nm, although the power upgrade in not known. The current generation M3 (F80) features a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six engine that produces 425 hp and 550 Nm of torque. The report says that a smaller engine could be found in the successor, with one or even two electric motors. The M3 is expected to remain a RWD car, although BMW could offer “through-the-road all-wheel-drive”, wherein the rear wheels would be driven by gasoline power and the front wheels would be electrically driven. To counter the weight that will be added owing to the plug-in hybrid system, BMW will use lots of carbon-fibre, like in the i8 and i3.
That said, Mr. Willisch commented that going by today’s market trend, it is unlikely the M3 will be due for a major overhaul before 2020 as the current model was introduced only in 2014.