BMW's M division will ride the hybrid wave with new performance models

2016 BMW M2 front angle
2016 BMW M2
As tightly as enthusiasts held onto the glory days of naturally aspirated engines, they’ve been forced to yield to turbocharged, smaller-displacement motors. And as strongly as purists believed manual transmissions lent themselves to the most connected driving experience, they’ve been marginalized more and more over time.

And the prospects for petrol-powered-only powertrains look equally bleak. It started in the racing world, crept into the upper echelons of supercar production, and is now working its way into iconic sports cars like Porsche’s 911, and now BMW’s M vehicles.

Dirk Hacker, BMW M’s vice-president for engineering, confirmed his view that the future of the high-performance vehicles is hybrid and the technology will be used to both lower CO2 emissions and make the models quicker and more responsive.

“We will look at electrification — I think it could be inevitable — but it depends on the possibility of increasing performance,” Hacker told Auto Express.

Though this might shock M loyalists, Hacker did draw a line in the sand about how forcefully the M brand will swing towards electric power.

“We’ve found that our customers are not interested in driving without the combustion engine,” he noted. “They want to know if these changes will help with performance.” Translation: pure EV’s don’t yet interest BMW’s fans and owners quite yet. And so yes, those who imagined an i8M rolling off the production line in the next few years will do well to put their faith in other prospects.

“We’ll need to look at the weight implications of electrification. What is the compromise? Are we ready now or do we need to take a look at some special structural solutions for the future?”

It sounds like executives at the German automaker’s tuning house aren’t yet sold on when and how hybrid power will work its way into core models, but it’s clear that a hybrid M future is just on the horizon.

There’s a good chance Audi and Mercedes-Benz will have similar announcements about their RS and AMG models shortly, as you can be sure both companies are already following the same line of reasoning.

Product Review

If the Surface Studio 2 can't win over Mac fans, nothing can

Most creative professionals are staunchly planted in the Apple camp, but with the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft is making a serious attempt to win them over. Despite its niche appeal, you’ll wish you had a few grand to drop on this beauty.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Cars

Land Rover shows its artsy side by previewing the 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover made life-sized wire sculptures to preview the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. The all-new SUV will make its debut during a private event held in London on November 22, and deliveries will begin in 2019.
Product Review

Why get anything bigger? The new Mac Mini is all the desktop you need

Apple’s new Mac Mini doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, and it’s more expensive. Yet the changes under the hood make a case for its consideration as your new Mac. Can this entry-level machine hold its own?
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
DT Daily

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.