Will BMW Shift to Smaller, Turbocharged Engines in the “M” Series?

Will BMW Shift to Smaller, Turbocharged Engines in the “M” Series?
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According to a reliable source, they’re thinking about it.

The reliable source is none other than Norbert Reithofer, the boss at BMW, who was interviewed in the German car magazine, Auto Motor und Sport. Reithofer said that BMW is looking at the possibility of eliminating the current V-8 diesel engine, replacing it with a straight six with twin turbos, and is also looking at employing a similar approach to the M models: fewer cylinders, but with turbocharging.

The concept of reducing engine size while employing turbocharging to maintain power centers on improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. Like other luxury and performance oriented car makers, BMW is facing increasingly stringent government regulations, in Europe and the United States. However, maintaining its performance image does not allow it to compromise what has been its self-defined brand image.

(more after the jump)

BMW, however, built its original reputation on the smoothness and power of its in-line engines, particularly the six cylinder. In the last decade, however, it appears to have emphasized larger, heavier, and more powerful vehicles, particularly at the top of the line-up. The M5, for example, is powered by a V-10.

Many experts see turbocharging as the wave of the future. Computer controlled turbochargers nicely complement conventional hybrid powertrains and are also an effective way to increase the output of diesel engines.

What do you think?
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