BMW to cut engine range, and V8 is in danger too
MUNICH - Although the world is moving towards electric power solutions, the trusty internal combustion petrol and diesel engines still have plenty of life left in them as the world makes its slow transition, and unlike some carmakers - such as Volvo - BMW is in no hurry to get rid of its traditional powertrains.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri, BMW’s R&D chief Klaus Froehlich said that BMW plans to continue producing petrol engines for at least another 30 years, while its diesel motors have around 20 years left. While these ICE engines will be increasingly hybridised, BMW will also expand its electric car portfolio as demand increases, with newcomers such as the iX3 and i4 due to hit the market soon.
However, Froehlich also revealed that the company would be discontinuing some of its internal combustion engines due to the increasing cost of conforming to the ever-changing emissions rules around the world.
Diesels will be the first to get the chop, Froehlich revealed, and this will take place at the top and bottom of the line-up. Sadly this means that the quad-turbo 3-litre six-cylinder diesel unit found in the various M50d models will face the chop as it’s simply too expensive to build. The single-turbo version, however, looks safe for now. BMW’s 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine, not offered in South Africa, is also set to die although the petrol motor of the same size looks set to soldier on for the foreseeable future.
Although no petrol engines are officially set for retirement any time soon, the writing is on the wall for the V12 and V8 units. Froehlich said that the V12 could eventually be discontinued as the company only produces a few thousand of them a year, adding that it might also become difficult to justify continued investment in the V8 models given how potent the top-end six-cylinder engines are becoming.
The straight-six motor, along with its four-cylinder counterpart, appear to have a bright future, however, and will be increasingly electrified as BMW seeks to bolster its plug-in hybrid portfolio in regions such as Europe where demand for such layouts is expected to increase exponentially.
But if it’s a V8 or V12 that you’re lusting after, it might be wise to buy one while you still can.