BMW’s next M3 could be faster and more efficient thanks to a plug-in hybrid drivetrain

2020 bmw m3 hybrid news rumors performance 2016 m32
The iconic BMW M3 has been offered with an eclectic selection of engines since its introduction in 1985. Early models featured a four-cylinder mill, second- and third-gen models got a straight-six, fourth-gen models were fitted with a V8, and, finally, the current model is again powered by a straight-six.

According to a new report, the next M3 will follow the path of innovation blazed by its predecessors and launch with a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain, a first in the nameplate’s illustrious history. Built using technology gleaned from BMW’s eco-friendly i sub-brand, the plug-in drivetrain will consist of a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six similar to the one that powers the current model and either one or two electric motors.

The electric motors will provide approximately 73 foot-pounds of torque, meaning the next M3 should offer a healthy 479 foot-pounds of twist in its most basic state of tune. A horsepower figure has not been provided. The two-door M4 will be fitted with the same setup.

The straight-six will spin the rear wheels in normal driving conditions, and the electric motors will zap the front wheels when additional power is needed. The hybrid M3 will boast an all-electric driving range of approximately 20 miles, and it will return considerably better gas mileage than the current model  (pictured), which is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

BMW will offset the weight added by the bulky battery pack with lightweight materials such as carbon fiber. Speaking to The Detroit Bureau, a company insider pointed out that batteries are steadily becoming smaller, lighter and more powerful, and the M3 is set to benefit from these advances.

Although the move is highly controversial, going hybrid will allow BMW to give the M3 more power while remaining in compliance with the strict fuel economy and emissions regulations that are scheduled to come into effect across the European Union in the coming years. Mercedes-AMG has recently confirmed that it will most likely introduce its first-ever hybrid within the next few years for the exact same reasons.

BMW has plenty of time to make up its mind about what will and won’t power the next M3. The current model went on sale about a year and a half ago, and it’s not scheduled to be replaced until 2020 at the earliest.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Computing

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.