Next-Gen BMW M3 To Be A Plug-In Hybrid?

AUG 27 2015 BY MARK KANE 8

 BMW i8

BMW i8

According to The Detroit Bureau, BMW is considering the future release of a plug-in hybrid M3 with 20 miles of all-electric range.

It will not be any time soon as current generation was introduced in early 2014, while electrification would be subject to the next-generation somewhere around 2020.

BMW would of course use its PHEV knowledge gained from BMW i8 in the plug-in M3.

One senior BMW executive engaged in M3 development revealed that BMW is working on adding an electric motor to the front axle to support the gasoline engine powering rear wheels.


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8 Comments on "Next-Gen BMW M3 To Be A Plug-In Hybrid?"

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Well, the new M3 already traps considerably faster than the P85D, so the addition of the front motor would help the M3 with a much quicker launch/ET.

Of course by 2020 IF BMW even builds this it might not trap faster than a P100D+ or a P120D+.

The trap for the highest spec Tesla S which is the P90DL is probably around 120 mph. We’ll have to see what they do at the track.

The trap for a regular M3 with stock tires is about 120 mph on paper but slower on average on the track. The M3 has a slower 1/4 mile and 60 time. Here is an example of a tuned M3 at the track doing the 1/4 mile in 12 sec. at around 121 mph.

I think this would a great more towards making plug-ins more exciting.

And yet people here would ridicule it because it cannot get full power on electric alone, and it has a smallish (right-sized for EU it would seem) AER.

While you might be right, the real excitement would be if this vehicle was around the corner (e.g. mid-2016) rather than maybe coming in 2020. I think most EV enthusiasts hope that by 2020 nearly every vehicle would have a plug-in version with at least 30-40 miles of usable range.

Average daily miles driven in the EU is almost exactly that of the US.

When it comes to AER there is no daylight between European and American driver needs.

The difference is that EU citizens use public transportation much more often resulting in fewer miles driven per year. But on days they do drive it is the same average/median number of miles as Americans.

From your narrative, it would seem to me that when Europeans do drive, it would tend to be more miles at a time. In other words, a typical European commute is done via public transport, and the car is used for venturing out of town? Correct me if I’m off. I’m just trying to read between the lines here.

Anyway, I was alluding to the EU requirements, which seem focused (in the near term) on removing emissions from dense city centers. For that, a ~20 mile AER seems to fit the bill. Or at least it meets the letter of the law.

For the near future, I would expect any PHEV focuses on performance – such as the i8 or an M3 – to take full advantage of the dual powertrain. Under heavy acceleration, this means using both the electric motors and the gas engine. I don’t see that going away for the next decade or two. Remember, an M3 is hardly a “transportation device”. It’s great that BMW is embracing electric drive trains. But don’t expect them to cripple their cars with the current limitations (no pun intended).


Finally someone who understands that Prius like hybrids aren’t appealing to everyone.