Citing tougher emissions regulations, better fuel efficiency, and greater torque production from a smaller package, "well placed Munich insiders have said" that naturally aspirated BMW M engines will gradually give way to turbocharged units, said the U.K.'s Autocar
. The new M engines will be based on the current twin-turbo inline six and twin-turbo V-8 engines in the BMW lineup, but will make more power than their regular-duty brethren and significantly more torque than the M engines they are set to replace.
Currently, M engines are a 4.0-liter V-8 in the M3
and a 5.0-liter V-10 in the M5
. Both engines favor very high RPM horsepower over big torque numbers, consuming plenty of gas along the way to their peak outputs. According to Autocar, the newest M model, the xDrive M, based on the BMW X6
, will have a twin-turbo V-8 that should match the M5
's V-10 at 500 hp, while making considerably more torque than the V-10 (rumored at up to 516 pound-feet). This should give the newest M model, even with its considerable heft, a 0-60 mph run of under five seconds.
A BMW official said that the new turbocharged engines should match or exceed current M performance, while delivering "much better consumption." The M division is also testing stop/start functionality, regenerative braking, and a gas/electric hybrid drivetrain for installment on future models.--Colin Mathews
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