Enjoy BMW while you can. It’s one of the last automakers where you can get a performance-orientated V8-powered AWD sedan, or a V12-powered luxury super sedan or a RWD convertible powered by a turbocharged straight-six. That is all changing in the next few years as Motor Authority reports that BMW Group plans to cut out over half its engine and drivetrain variations as early as 2025.
BMW has talked about these plans before and analysts speculated as far back as 2014 that BMW would phase out gas engines within 10 years. Just a few weeks ago though, the company hadn’t committed to an end date for ICE engines. Now the company has seemed to accelerate its plans.
Speaking at an investor conference last week, BMW Group chairman Oliver Zipse outlined the company’s plan in trimming its engine and drivetrain lineup. Zipse said that this will reduce complexity while only keeping variants that have a demand. “We are reducing complexity, with fewer variants and fewer drive trains,” Zipse said at BMW’s Annual General Meeting on May 12, “keeping only those for which there is real demand: About half the current drive train variants will no longer be offered by 2025.”
What half is going and what half is staying? BMWBlog argues that hardcore enthusiasts should not be greatly worried:
[Y]ou definitely shouldn’t be worried if you’re looking for a straight six or a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. Most of these choices will most likely be kept in production past 2025. The 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engines will be slowly phased out and replaced by 2-liter mills with lower specs in the future, if there’s a business case for them.
All of this change relies on a transition to EVs:
- The goal of 100,000 deliveries of EVs this year
- 13 pure EVs by 2023, calling this the company’s “tipping point”
- Two million EV deliveries by the end of 2025 with more than half the vehicles they sell globally being electric by 2030.
Mini will be the first brand as part of the transition, with Zipse saying the brand will produce its last gas-powered car in 2025. He also said work has begun on an all-electric Rolls Royce but gave no further details.
Unfortunately, this change has come at the cost of some jobs, while opening up others. Zipse said that 5,000 workers chose to take a severance package. Meanwhile, some 4,000 new workers were brought on as a result of the transition.
With an expanding i lineup that will include the i4 and glaringly styled iX, BMW seems to have its EV future all set. So go out and enjoy those M cars and V8 engines. I doubt we’ll see a lineup as diverse again in the coming years.