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BMW M says it won’t downsize to 4-cylinder engines like Mercedes-AMG did

BMW is determined to stick with six- and eight-cylinder engines for as long as the ICE exists, unlike rival automakers including Mercedes-AMG which declined in the era of electrification.

Speaking to the media during the festival at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit in South Africa, BMW M boss Frank van Meel was asked if they were considering replacing the six-cylinder engine with a three-cylinder unit with more power in the pure M models. CarBuzz, Van Mill said: “I hope that was just a rhetorical question, because it’s clear that we’re not going to build three-cylinder engines. We’re not even going to use four-cylinder engines in high-performance cars. I know there are other companies that are doing this, but we are not going to do it.”

Read also: BMW has not completely abandoned the idea of ​​a supercar under the M brand

Van Mill’s comments sound disparaging of engines with fewer cylinders, even though BMW M has had a four-cylinder model in the past – M3 E30 (1986-1991). We’ve reached out to BMW for comment and to ask how this strategy stacks up against the automaker’s past. A US spokesman confirmed van Meel’s words, adding:

“BMW stated that we remain committed to the internal combustion engine as long as the market demands it. However, the movement towards electrification is a witness to something new BMW XM and BMW For example, the M Hybrid V8 GTP Racer – will play an important role in the future of high-performance cars from M,” he said.

“Of course the E30 M3 played an important role in the development of the M brand (even the F1 cars of the time were 4-cylinder), but that was almost 40 years ago and a lot has changed in that time,” added the BMW representative.

The BMW representative is probably referring to the fact that modern cars have become much heavier and bulkier compared to the past. The the original BMW M3 weighed just 1,165 (2,568 lbs), while the lightest model in the current lineup is the all-new BMW M2 tipping the scales at 1,730 (3,814 pounds). In addition, our performance standards have changed dramatically: today’s sedans and SUVs are faster and more powerful than supercars of past decades.

The iconic 4-cylinder BMW E30 M3 and its spiritual successor, the turbocharged inline-six M2

Nevertheless, as proved by Art Mercedes-AMG C63 SE Performance, the desired output of turbocharged four-cylinder engines can be achieved, especially in combination with electric motors as part of a plug-in hybrid system. We’ve also seen Toyota’s impressively powerful 1.6-litre three-cylinder unit in the performance-oriented GR Yaris and GR Corolla hot hatches. This leads us to believe that BMW M’s decision is mostly about character – and noise – adding another point of differentiation from the competition.

Hanson also commented on the upcoming transition to electrification: “BMW has said that we remain committed to the internal combustion engine as long as the market demands it. However, the movement towards electrification is a witness to something new BMW XM and the BMW M Hybrid V8 GTP racer, for example, will play an important role in the future of high-performance cars from M.”

The BMW XM is the first electrified full-scale M model and the new performance flagship thereafter i4 M50, iX M60and i7 M70 from the smaller M Performance range. BMW M recently teased a a prototype of a four-motor electric car based on the i4, which could become the EV equivalent M3/M4 with an internal combustion engine in the future.

https://www.carscoops.com/2022/10/bmw-m-wont-downsize-to-four-cylinder-engines-like-mercedes-amg-did/

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