BMW Will Make Internal Combustion Engines For Another 30 Years, R&D Boss 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
BMW Will Make Internal Combustion Engines For Another 30 Years, R&D Boss Says

The electric car revolution may be on the horizon, but don’t be fooled into thinking the death of the old-fashioned internal combustion engine is imminent. At least, we certainly don’t get that sense when reading the comments of BMW‘s R&D boss Klaus Froehlich.

Speaking to Automotive News about electrification and how BMW will approach it in the future, Froehlich 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”.

The i4 sits on BMW's Cluster Architecture, rather than a bespoke BEV platform
The i4 sits on BMW's Cluster Architecture, rather than a bespoke BEV platform

It’s all part of BMW’s policy to use a flexible vehicle architecture that allows for multiple types of powertrain, catering for the differing desires of markets around the world. CLAR (cluster architecture), for instance, is being used for both hybrid and pure ICE vehicles, and will be used for the fully electric i4 - a car which Froehlich describes as “basically a battery-powered 3-series”.

The news isn’t good for the V8s and V12s in BMW’s line-up, however. According to Froehlich, 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”.

BMW produces multiple V8 cars such as the M8, but probably not for much longer
BMW produces multiple V8 cars such as the M8, but probably not for much longer

The issue for the V8 meanwhile is that BMW doesn’t need that many cylinders nor that much displacement to develop big power figures. “It’s already difficult to create a strong business case to keep it [the V8] alive given that we have a six-cylinder high-powered plug-in hybrid unit that delivers 441 kilowatts [592bhp] of power and enough torque to destroy many transmissions,” he said.

While we didn’t really want to drop any other bits of bad news, it’s also worth pointing out that BMW’s quad-turbo inline-six diesel isn’t going to be replaced. Why? Because, unsurprisingly, it’s “too complicated to build.”

Comments

Matthew Henderson
Matthew Henderson

I’m not a big beamer fan, but this does put a smile on my face.

01/08/2020 - 14:01 |
42 | 2
danisahne96
danisahne96

In reply to by Matthew Henderson

So are you a fan or nah

01/08/2020 - 16:44 |
8 | 0
Hamster V10
Hamster V10

Please don’t call ICE fossil-fuel power because the early ICE was designed to run on alcohol and the diesel engine was designed to run on vegetable oil

01/08/2020 - 15:28 |
32 | 4
Myrmeko (#CTSquad)
Myrmeko (#CTSquad)

In reply to by Hamster V10

Yeah, exactly. Lol.

01/08/2020 - 18:07 |
10 | 0
Myrmeko (#CTSquad)
Myrmeko (#CTSquad)

I don’t get why they don’t make a smaller V8. Like a 2.0L or 3.0L V8 and anything in between.

01/08/2020 - 18:10 |
6 | 2
TheMindGarage
TheMindGarage

In reply to by Myrmeko (#CTSquad)

Lots of cylinder surface area relative to displacement so it won’t be as efficient as a similarly-sized I6. Of course it’d rev much higher (the 3-litre V8 in the Ariel Atom 500 goes to 11k!) but that’s not really what you want in a luxury saloon.

01/08/2020 - 19:05 |
20 | 0
Olivier (CT's grammar commie)
Olivier (CT's grammar commie)

“multiple tyres of powertrain”

Did you rather mean “types of powertrain” Matt Robinson

01/08/2020 - 18:59 |
14 | 0
Anonymous
Anonymous

In reply to by Olivier (CT's …

CT doesn’t even seem to bother checking for typos anymore.

01/09/2020 - 17:56 |
0 | 12
Twopoint0
Twopoint0

YEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAW

01/08/2020 - 19:11 |
0 | 0
Myron Tang
Myron Tang

All car guys that are in high school should focus on science so that they can make an alternative fuel for ICEs which highly resembles gasoline

01/09/2020 - 06:59 |
8 | 0
Danny S
Danny S

In reply to by Myron Tang

And then would get “silenced” by big oil companies and their plans shelved as soon as they unveil anything…

01/09/2020 - 08:30 |
6 | 2
Anonymous
Anonymous

In reply to by Myron Tang

Have we tried vodka

01/11/2020 - 22:47 |
0 | 0
NotARealRoadTest
NotARealRoadTest

While this is good news, I haven’t heard too much about BMW’s investments in fully electric drivetrains (besides the i4). Everyone else will introduce/ is already introducing EVs to their range and that’s going to help them survive in such a competitive industry.

I hope BMW pulls more EVs out of the bag soon.

01/10/2020 - 15:42 |
0 | 2
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