We’re at the dawn of a new era for BMW M cars: hybridization and electrification. We knew it would be coming eventually. In a recent interview with German website BimmerToday, M CEO Frank van Meel confirmed that the upcoming BMW M2 will be the last non-hybrid M car ever.
“[T]he M2 will be the last M with a pure combustion engine drive and also without electrification scope such as a 48-volt on-board network, van Meel told the outlet.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief, and don’t worry, the M2 will also be keeping its manual transmission. According to van Meel, over 50 percent of M2s heading to the U.S. will be row-your-owns.
“The goal is, of course, to be able to offer fully electric high-performance vehicles at some point, he said. “It’s not that easy for a variety of reasons, which is why it doesn’t exist yet.”
A new hybrid M powerplant is also being developed for the BMW XM. It’ll have a V8 combustion engine teamed with an electric motor that is supposed to produce 750 hp and 737 ft-lb of torque. That would make it the most powerful production BMW ever.
According to the BimmerToday post, the next M5 (codename G90) has been spotted with “Hybrid Test Vehicle” stickers. Despite the fact hybrid and EV drivetrains weigh more than their internal combustion counterparts, van Meel doesn’t believe it’ll end up being too much of a factor.
“Even if the weight will inevitably increase, the implementation of the right lightweight construction measures is still important. M GmbH has a good story there, not only with the famous M carbon roof. This is still important so that the weight does not become unnecessarily high. The advantage of electrified vehicles is, of course, that the center of gravity shifts downwards because the high-voltage battery is always located under the floor.
You can’t keep the overall mass at today’s level, but we can actually improve issues that are important for driving dynamics, such as body control and roll behavior, thanks to the lower center of gravity. This is really different from the past, where weight gain has always been in the wrong place and the higher center of gravity has led to more clumsiness and roll.
So that the center of gravity is as low as possible, our lightweight construction expertise continues to help a lot. In connection with our strengths in the areas of chassis and structural rigidity of the entire vehicle, we can then achieve the precision and agility that our customers expect from an M.”
I, for one, cannot wait to see the disgusting price the final ICE M2 gets on Bring a Trailer in like eight years. It’ll be a sight to behold.