BMW might be planning to add a plug-in hybrid powertrain to one of its most iconic sports sedans.
is reporting that a BMW M3 plug-in hybrid is under development to help the car meet new strict fuel economy regulations. The basis for the new powertrain will be the same 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that is used today, mated to an electric powerplant.
Torque is said to be boosted by about 73 lb-ft to sit around 480 lb-ft, while horsepower estimates were not revealed. On electricity only, the BMW M3 plug-in hybrid is aiming for a range of 20 miles.
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Rear-wheel drive will remain as the M3’s standard layout, although the platform is flexible, and could support a pair of electric motors responsible for driving the front wheels, allowing the car to offer torque vectoring. A regenerative braking system will also be offered with the plug-in M3.
Hybrid systems are known to add weight which is typically the enemy of performance. BMW plans to combat this by using even more carbon fiber in the development of the new M3 along with lessons learned from the i3 and i8, BMW’s new line of lightweight hybrid cars.
The next-gen BMW M3 is expected to arrive sometime around 2020, so we have a while to wait before anything becomes official.
[Source: Detroit Bureau]
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