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      08-14-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
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Rumor: Next gen 2020 BMW M3 / M4 hybrid

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Via: http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2015...-with-next-m3/

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Originally Posted by Paul A. Eisenstein
Aiming to give its iconic performance model a boost while also making it more environmentally friendly, BMW will migrate to a plug-in hybrid powertrain when the next version of its M3 sedan comes to market, several senior company officials have revealed.

The new system draws from both the German maker’s motorsports experience as well as some of the lessons it has learned since launching the BMW i battery-car sub-brand several years ago. Versions of the new drivetrain are expected to be used on a wide range of additional BMW models, and could be offered in both rear- and electric all-wheel-drive configurations.

“We have a lot to learn from BMW i,” a senior executive who has worked on both the battery brand and on BMW M, told TheDetroitBureau.com. He noted that until recently, the maker saw it as one of the company’s “bookends,” a counterpoint to BMW M. But now the maker is ways the two can be brought closer together.

In this case, the goal is to satisfy performance fans by adding more power while, at the same time, helping the M3 meet increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy standards around the world. Some cities are discussing the possibility of banning the use of conventional gasoline power, but the next M3 would be able to sidestep such restrictions by switching to electric power for as much as 20 miles per charge.

“We have to go that way,” confirmed Ludwig Willisch, the CEO of BMW of North America.

The basic drivetrain under development starts out with a similar engine to what’s found in today’s M3, as well as the M4 coupe. For the 2016 model, that’s a TwinPower 3.0-liter inline-six engine that now makes 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque offered with an option of either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed double-clutch transmission.

One senior BMW executive involved in the development of the next M3 said the maker expects to boost torque by at least 100 Newton-meters, or about 73 lb-ft. He didn’t reveal the targeted horsepower rating.

The system under development is similar to the KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, technology that has been used in motorsports programs including Formula One.

Power on the M3 would remain directed to the rear wheels only, he added, as that is the layout the classic model’s fans expect and prefer. But the basic drivetrain being developed for the M3 will have significant flexibility. It could be used to offer what some call through-the-road all-wheel-drive.

The rear wheels of a vehicle would be driven by gasoline power, as is the case on most BMW models today. But rather than using a driveshaft to also power the front axle, the forward wheels would be electrically driven, the BMW M executive explained. That could mean either one or two electric motors, the latter offering the ability to torque vector. In that case, more power is applied to the outer wheel during a turn to enhance cornering stability.

Going to a plug-in hybrid drive system for the M3 generated some internal controversy, at least initially. One reason was the potential weight such a powertrain would add. Mass is considered an enemy of performance, and BMW has always tried to reduce as much weight as possible when developing a new version of the M3.

The good news is that the latest batteries are becoming both lighter and smaller, even as they grow more powerful, another BMW insider explained. They also are becoming less expensive. Where a kilowatt-hour of lithium-ion batteries cost as much as $1,000 at the beginning of the decade, he suggested it has now come down to around $400. And the goal is “$150 to $200” by the end of the decade, though it’s uncertain that aggressive target can be achieved.

To offset some of the added mass of a plug-in hybrid drive, BMW will use additional lessons learned from vehicles like the i3 and i8, the M executive noted. Those models make extensive use of carbon fiber, and the next BMW M3 will use more of the ultra-light material, as well.

BMW is considered a leader in the development of carbon fiber for automotive applications. It has formed a partnership that is currently turning a pilot plant in Washington State into the world’s largest source of the material.

Asked when the new hybrid BMW M3 would come to market, the senior source laughed and said, “I can’t tell you everything.” BMW North America chief Willisch, however, noted that the current version of the iconic performance sedan was only launched in early 2014. At the maker’s normal pace, it wouldn’t be due for a complete makeover until around 2020.

BMW, incidentally, won’t be the only one to be marketing an electrified performance car by then. Audi is working up an all-electric take on its R8, for one thing. Mercedes-Benz may electrify some of its performance models. And Tesla has already charged into this new market niche with offerings like the P85D version of its Model S. It recently announced an update, dubbed “Luuudicrous Mode,” that will allow the battery sedan to launch from 0 to 60 in a mere 2.8 seconds.
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      08-14-2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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Wow. End of an era beginning of something new. Not down on it, I just hope they get it right. If this is the last generation of gasoline Ms, I do think I'll be keeping mine for a while.
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      08-14-2015, 09:31 PM   #3
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Fine with me as long as it performs. I like that they keep trying to innovate while trying to keep the spirit of the model intact
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      08-14-2015, 09:37 PM   #4
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      08-14-2015, 11:01 PM   #5
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As long as the next gen M3/M4 significantly outperforms the current F8x gen (which I assume it will) and also is just is much or even more fun to drive subjectively (which I think BMW will make sure of given the increasingly-tight competition) then I'll be interesting regardless of whether or not it is a plug-in hybrid or more "conventional" layout...
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      08-15-2015, 02:26 AM   #6
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No surprises... btw does anyone know what a P1, 918 spyder and LaFerrari are? It's not the end of the world... if BMW even made an M version of the i8, it would outperform the M3 in nearly every way... the tech is through the roof.
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      08-15-2015, 03:07 AM   #7
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I'm ready for it. If it ain't a NA screamer better go all the way, well not all the way I'm not ready for a full electric just yet and I'm not a fan of diesels in performance cars. They say the Pajun is going to be a full electric, maybe that can change my mind . Bring it on BMW.

The downside is that it's likely the end of MTs in M3s, I don't think they can make them work well with hybrids but I could be wrong.
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      08-15-2015, 04:30 AM   #8
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It's the future, get on the train first....
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      08-15-2015, 04:53 AM   #9
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If you haven't driven an electric car yet, you really should...

The way the electric motor makes its power is something that should be experienced

I haven't driven an I8 yet, but if the next M3 has a similar setup I am sure it will be a hit...
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      08-15-2015, 04:56 AM   #10
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Innovation, progress, continuos technological advancements and improvements....good on BMW.

Henry Ford once said "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".

I think if it was up to most of us our new F8X would have had an improved V8 in it.
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      08-15-2015, 06:35 AM   #11
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Possibly an implementation of Power eDrive, as mentioned in this thread:

http://g30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1134676
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      08-15-2015, 10:22 AM   #12
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So it's basically the same tech as a LaFerrari the electric is there to just give more POWERRRRRR
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      08-15-2015, 10:28 AM   #13
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I can certainly see some sort of hybridization, mainly through electric turbos and a KERS system like the current f1 units. A full on plug in hybrid seems a little unrealistic, both from a cost and a weight perspective. I'd expect to see the M5/6 do that first.
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      08-15-2015, 11:41 AM   #14
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I'm excited to see what BMW has up their sleeve.
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      08-15-2015, 01:13 PM   #15
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Oh man... I8 is the template now? 136k car that is slower than all other sports cars in that range as well as p85d (which is cheaper and a 7 seat family car)
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      08-15-2015, 01:15 PM   #16
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Miss me with it, thanks.
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      08-15-2015, 01:27 PM   #17
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      08-15-2015, 01:37 PM   #18
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So ... I guess I'll be buying out the f80 lease?


J/k I'm actually looking forward to this new tech. And let me be the first to say ... AWD. 2 electric front wheels for off the line traction and instantaneous shredding, 2 burn rubbery rear wheels for everything else. It ain't that hard BMW. And then I don't have to buy no stinking snow tires!!!!
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      08-15-2015, 01:38 PM   #19
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      08-15-2015, 01:40 PM   #20
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This is really smart. Audi will do it the other way with electric rear, gasoline front. Will be interesting to see which is better on track. My gut tells me electric on the rear wheels is better for torque vectoring. In either car the batteries will go in the trunk, evening out the weight balance.
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      08-15-2015, 01:41 PM   #21
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This with AWD please ?
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      08-15-2015, 01:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo@BMWofFairfax View Post
“We have to go that way,” confirmed Ludwig Willisch, the CEO of BMW of North America.
Bingo. Better to face the facts now instead of later.
Hybrid technology is just an interim band-aid.
The real solution is all-electric automotive power.
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