High-revving engines to be replaced by turbo V8
27 November 2008

BMW's new M-powered versions of the X6 will be the first car to get a new turbocharged direct-injection V8 as the firm begins to move away from high-revving, naturally aspirated engines for its high-performance models.

Increasingly tough emission standards and soaring manufacturing costs have pushed BMW into the decision, which could alter the intrinsic character of all BMW M models.

The future of the 4.0-litre V8 in the BMW M3's and the 5.0-litre V10 BMW M5 is unclear, as both will make way for forced-induction engines, well placed Munich insiders have said.

The M-badged X6, which will be called xDrive M, is due in June. Its twin-turbo V8 is also earmarked for the next-generation M5, due in 2010.

Based on the X6 xDrive50i's 4.4-litre V8, the new unit is said to virtually match the existing BMW M5's V10 for power, at 500bhp, while providing much more torque - up to 516lb ft.

This should be enough to provide the top-of-the-line X6 with 0-62mph acceleration in less than five seconds.

"In terms of overall performance the new engine doesn't give anything away to the powerplant we run now, but it delivers much better consumption," a senior BMW M official told Autocar.

The moves comes on the back of confirmation from AMG that it is planning to add turbocharging to its 6.2-litre V8 when it introduces direct injection in 2010.

As well as developing its own new turbocharged engines, BMW's M division is also planning to equip new models such as the X6 xDrive M with features such as automatic stop/start and brake energy regeneration to improve fuel consumption and lower emissions.

The M Division is currently testing a new drivetrain incorporating technology from next year's X6 ActiveHybrid. The system uses a nickel metal hydride battery pack to power an electric motor, providing added new levels of performance.

Greg Kable

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Comments
19

27 November 2008

I am sad by the confirmation of those news. After the Cayenne Diesel, now the compressed BMW M.It is almost more shocking. All right, it is for the X6, their SAC(!), dixit BMW. Moreover, it does not even must to be called M. It is really grave this change of philosophy. I weigh even my words. I think that they will be capable of realizing more sober and effective engines.But where will be the character of their excellent naturally aspired engines?Although we say, that will be the end of these magnificent engines.Although we say!!! Keep your sound recordings of M3, M5 …Long live naturally compressed engines, not gas plants!The noblest engines! It is the beginning of the Decline. It had to arrive, we are there. This is the end …

27 November 2008

It's sad for enthusiasts, but they'll be breaking out the Champagne at Audi, Mercedes and Porsche - their toughest competitor is voluntarily surrendering one of its key markets. I guess my current car is the last BMW I'll ever own, then ...

28 November 2008

These are sad news indeed. I am afraid we haven't hit rock bottom yet though. The saddest day for all petrolheads will be the day that Ferrari announces the drop of their naturally aspirated diamonds in favour of turbocharged engines. That will be the end of a noble era.

28 November 2008

Is this really that bad?

For many years M cars just had a tuned version of the usual BMW straight six and a very carefully set up chassis.

The recent high tech M cars have had a mixed press much like their direct competitors.

Emissions legislation is not favourable to these special engines either so BMW might need to adopt the technology applied to its standard models on the M series. Hence a modified version of a stock engines is a good solution (as Alpina have been demonstrating for some time) and not out of keeping with earlier times..

28 November 2008

[quote jerry99]

Emissions legislation is not favourable to these special engines either so BMW might need to adopt the technology applied to its standard models on the M series. Hence a modified version of a stock engines is a good solution (as Alpina have been demonstrating for some time) and not out of keeping with earlier times..

[/quote]

I guess what everyone is saying is; This the end of the normally aspirated engine?

BMW and their M division were always seen as purveyors of decent normally aspirated engines. Now this appears to have gone, the choice of the driving purist is dwindling.

I personally am not a turbo fan (please no puns about aero engines) and will try and stay normally aspirated as long as possible. I despise the lack of throttle response, power delivery and effect that has on handling.

Don't get me wrong, we are not without choices at the moment but how long have we got left?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

28 November 2008

I guess the greatly reduced heft of the next M Cars might make up for it. The current M3 and M5 are really heavy, man. I think a stripped out 3 coupe with high revving 2.0 litre 4 would be closer to the principles of the M division. The dire range of the current M cars would preclude them from my shopping list in the unlikely event of me having the money to buy one. I can't be arsed stopping for fuel every 5 minutes.

Also, the end is not nigh. Once the current panic subsides dirty great V8s and 10s will reappear in new and more exciting guises. We are going through a similiar phase to the early 80's where small turbo engines were in vogue as a response to the fuel crisis that was the mid to late 70's. It will pass.

Bring back steel wheels.

28 November 2008

I have no issue with this. I've done a lot of miles in both a new M3 and the new M5, and to be honest i find their engines lacking. Lacking torque, mainly, which i think is very important in a sports car.

The thing is, i've also done a fair few miles in a 335i Coupe, and i swear that if you gave it to your average petrolhead, and didn't tell them what it was, they would swear it was naturally aspirated.

The 335i and 335d engines are absolute masterpeices of engineering, and prove exactly what BMW can do when they try.

I don't own a BMW, just to clarify, i'm just a fan of their engines. Plus the X6 xDrive35d is a frankly astoundingly good car. If you don't believe the hype - just go and drive one.

28 November 2008

[quote Tim Oldland]I have no issue with this. I've done a lot of miles in both a new M3 and the new M5, and to be honest i find their engines lacking. Lacking torque, mainly, which i think is very important in a sports car.[/quote]

No I completely disagree, and so should most car enthusiasts - Torque is not that important in a sports car!!!! Half of the fun of a sports car, should be stirring a short throw gearbox and ringing out the engine, enjoying razor sharp throttle response and high-end power! Certainly not relying on large amounts of torque in a lazy manner. Yes, maybe in a GT car torque is more important, but not in an out and out sports car!

It will be a very very sad day when/if we are forced to drive forced induction engines and not the pure N/A gems which we have taken for granted up until now...

28 November 2008

What all those mine is bigger than yours people going to do?

Interesting comparison is the original M3 with a 123d.

28 November 2008

Oh dear oh dear...I personally have no problem with BMW binning NA as a guiding M philosophy. I can remember much of the same consternation when they abandoned 4 cylinders for 6 in the M3 and then 6 for 8 etc etc. Although M division has delivered a fair few pups recently one thing that is always a constant is the marvel under the bonnet and an earlier poster's reference to the 335i is spot on - easily the finest mainstream FI engine out there. As for the naysayers who protest at lack of charcter etc etc I will offer the following list:

Most exciting Ferrari of the last 25 year? F40

Most exciting Audi (ever!) ? 20V Quattro

Most exciting thing with four doors of past 25 years? Lancia Delta Integrale

Any yes, they're all turbo charged...Many may disagree but I'll put up a fairly robust arguement in defence of that list...

A 1 series CSL with a turbo 4 pot? I'd be at the top of the queue!

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