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      03-06-2019, 02:14 PM   #1
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Future M-Cars to Use Tech from BMW i (Update: M CEO Confirms, but with Conditions)

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Head of BMW i Confirms Working with BMW M for Electrification but Must 'Deserve the M Badge', says M CEO

March 7, 2019 Update:
"Electrification needs to deserve the M badge", says BMW M CEO

Following up on the related discussion about incorporating BMW i electrification technology into future M-cars, BMW M has confirmed that this is, indeed, in the works, but the electrified M products will only be released when they meet certain requirements.

Markus Flasch, BMW M's new boss since fourth-quarter of 2018, has spoken more about the electrification process within BMW M.

Speaking with CarBuzz at Geneva, Flasch says "We will put the train on the rails during my term [as M division chief]"

"If we’re going to see something in the next 3 to 6 years it’s not something I can discuss today, but we are working on all types of electrification, all types of concepts.”

Electrification is certainly a hot-topic for debate, especially among BMW enthusiasts (and even more so, when on the topic of M-cars).
However, Flasch wanted to make it clear that electrification does not mean that BMW M is giving up on driving dynamics.

"Electrification needs to deserve the M badge,” he said. "We are in the lucky position that with our current engine lineup we are fulfilling all (emissions) regulations worldwide. We are happy. Our customers are happy. I don’t have the urge to put something to market as a test to see if it performs as well as the current M5. I will only put an electrified M5 to the market as soon as it outperforms the current one. But this is what we’re working towards.”

The BMW M CEO continues to elaborate and implies that electrification of M-cars is more than just about acceleration and power.
He states the objective of extracting as much character as possible to maintain the driving experience of future electrified M-cars as emotional experiences.

"Electrification is not just about propulsion technology. It’s the way you apply it, the way you control it. It’s the way the chassis and engine systems cooperate. Character is key. I think there is a way to get an EV or a plug-in hybrid extremely emotional, but it’s more than just adding components together and putting a badge on it. There’s still a lot of know-how that needs to go into this.”

It's safe to say that there's still a while to go in terms of R&D, and there is no immediate short-term timeline that can be confirmed.
But what is known is that within both BMW i and BMW M, work has already started as far as drivetrain and chassis development and testing.


March 6, 2019

There is currently dialogue and the beginnings of cooperation between BMW's M and i divisions regarding incorporating electrified powertrains and assists into BMW M-cars.

This follows the electrification trend where BMW has introduced more and more electrified vehicles into its lineup with each coming generation.

Until now, cars developed by the M Division have been designed, engineered, and sold without these technologies in mind.

However, this is likely to change in the near future.

Speaking to Auto Express at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Robert Irlinger, Head of BMW's i Division, said that his team was already working with the M Division to deliver electrification in performance cars.

“You will see electrified vehicles in M division as well,” Irlinger said. “We are in talks with all of the other BMW Group brands and sub-brands - Rolls-Royce, MINI and yes, M division - and you will see electrification coming across onto their products. It will be at differing levels, of course, but it will happen. We are working with them, right now.

He added: “There are some real advantages from incorporating electric power into performance vehicles. You have immediate torque delivery which can give you acceleration while a combustion engine is still thinking about it. These advantages we will spread to the whole brands, in a specific way.”

Future electrification of BMW M cars has already been the subject of much discussion and speculation in recent years.

In 2016, BMW executive Ian Robertson said that BMW was open towards electrified, hybrid M-cars.
In 2017, BMW M's then CEO Frank Van Meel spoke of pure electric M-cars as inevitable in the future, with hybrid powertrains being available during the transitional period.

We have seen rhetoric from top BMW executives and management change from a soft tone speaking about considering options and recognizing the future prospect of electrification to more concrete statements such as those made above this year at Geneva, where BMW i has already begun working with BMW M to deliver electrified solutions in future platforms.

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