BMW to make Internal Combustion Engines until 2050 - head of R&D says
BMW's R&D head Klaus Froehlich has said that the company will produce fossil-fuel-powered engines for at least another 30 years, but the future of the V8 is bleak.
Here is a very brief history on the engine:
In 1876, Nikolaus Otto, working with Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, patented the compressed charge, four-cycle engine.
Later, in 1886, Karl Benz began the first commercial production of motor vehicles with the internal combustion engine. Karl Benz's last name is still on a familiar car brand that we all know (and hopefully love) which is Mercedes-Benz.
The Internal Combustion Engine has been around for a very long time and it has revolutionised the way we think about mass transportation.
BMW has made some cracking engines - both diesel and petrol powered. Engines like the S70/3 V12 used in the 627bhp McLaren F1 and the S54B32HP DOHC Inline six cylinder in the E46 M3 CSL will remain some of the best engines ever to graze the automotive world.
Out with the old and in with the new
According to Froelich, BMW is ceasing production of engines that are expensive to produce, unpopular, and are challenged by stricter emissions regulations from around the globe.
In late 2019, rumours surfaced that the Bavarian motor manufacturer was going to end production of its iconic three litre, 400bhp, quad-turbo six cylinder diesel (B57s) engine.
This is also a small part of the engine that powers the Bugatti Chiron - will the new engines that BMW and the VW Group produce suit Bugatti cars?
Along with the six cylinder engine, BMW is stopping production of the small but economical 1.5 litre, three cylinder power unit that’s used in a number of MINI Cooper D vehicles.
According to Froehlich, even the V12 “may not have a future” considering the small number of units built a year, coupled to “the several thousand euros of added cost it takes to make them compliant with stricter emissions rules”.
Is this finally the end for the V12?
BMW produces several V8 cars such as the M5, but probably not for much longer.
In 2019, Top Gear Magazine reported that BMW would carry on making V12's until at least 2023 - although Froehlich believes it could be much sooner.
Also, BMW’s quad-turbo inline-six diesel isn’t going to be replaced due to it being “too complicated to build.” - what a surprise.
A major part of its decision to drop these engines is because more efficient, and more powerful plug-in hybrid versions are already here.
“When it comes to the V8, it’s already difficult to create a strong business case to keep it alive given that we have a six cylinder high-powered plug-in hybrid unit that delivers 441 kW (600 hp) of power and enough torque to destroy many transmissions,” Froelich told Automotive News Europe.
With the increasing threat of global warming looming upon us - governments have taken action. The UK has committed to the idea that there will be a ban on combustion engine powered cars by 2040.
This is just one of many messages to the automotive industry that like always, you have to move on to maintain the interests of the people.
With electric car domination just around the corner - BMW has chosen to continue making diesel engines until 2040 and petrol powered engines until at least 2050.
So it seems like the Internal Combustion Engine will be here until 2050 - but can we really trust that figure?
The Rimac C_Two has a claimed top speed of 258mph and a 0-60mph time of 1.85 seconds - that's quick.
The rate of sales for electric vehicles has skyrocketed in the last decade and with the rise of brands like Tesla and Rimac with the added entry of Lotus and other well known car brands, the future looks to be electrifyingly quick too.
But does the process of ending just two diesel engines really change the world's perception of combustion power?
The Lotus Evija took headlines in late 2019 as the most powerful production car ever with 1972bhp
A company as powerful and influential as BMW could be making an economical and environmental success here. This decision to end the production of these 'wasteful engines' could be the for the greater could.