BMW chief says firm is committed to internal combustion for "at least 30 years"
But the flagship V12 won't make it, and the V8 might follow
Klaus Froehlich, head of research and development at BMW, recently confirmed that the brand has no intention of ditching internal combustion for quite some time.
In a recent interview with Auto News Europe, he said that “our four- and six-cylinder diesels will remain for at least another 20 years, and our gasoline units for at least 30 years.”
That's fantastic news for fans of some of BMW's fantastic engines, but some of them won't be around that long.
Several of the engines throughout the entire BMW Group are already getting cut. The quad-turbo diesel from the BMWs 750d and M550d will both go, because according to Froelich, "it is too expensive and difficult to build with its four turbos." So will the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder diesel found in the Mini Cooper D, among other vehicles.
The Mini Cooper D, using the soon-to-be-cut 1.5-liter 3-cylinder diesel engine
The flagship V12 engine is on the verge of suffering the same fate. Froelich revealed that "the V12 might not have a future" because only a few units are produced per year and "the several thousand euros of added cost it takes to make them compliant with stricter emissions rules." However, the engine should last at least as far as the M760Li, which isn't due for replacement until 2023.
The BMW M760Li holds on to the flagship V12, and should until at least 2023
Even the flagship twin-turbo V8 might not have much longer. Froelich commented on the "difficult business case" keeping it presented, given BMW's possession of a six-cylinder high-performance plug-in hybrid engine that makes 600 horsepower and has "enough torque to destroy many transmissions.”
So BMW is keeping the internal combustion engine a part of their portfolio for many years to come. However, the best of those engines probably won't be a part of it.