Currently reading: BMW denies claims it will abandon internal combustion engines
German firm's development boss labels reports as "complete nonsense"

BMW has denied speculation that it will abandon internal combustion engines after its research and development boss, Frank Weber, labelled the reports as "complete nonsense".

Sources close to the German firm had claimed that it would not continue with its involvement in combustion engines, particularly as rival firms begin to increase investment in electric drivetrains.

“Firstly, it’s not true. And secondly, suggesting there’s nothing more to be done is not true either,” said Weber.

The news comes ahead of the launch of the brand's next-generation 'Neue Klasse' electric cars, starting with the concept car and now known to be extending to the next-generation iX3 and, eventually, the "crazy", quad-motor M3.

Weber pointed to the recently confirmed Euro 7 emission regulations, set to be imposed from 1 July 2025, as just one example of why BMW remains heavily committed to ICE development. He said: “There’s a lot to do. And we don’t only do this in Europe, but also in the US and China as well.”

The firm has also set an objective for zero-emission cars to account for 15% of its sales in 2024.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse spoke of his aversion to the European Union's banning of the combustion engine, claiming that it would send European car makers into a price war with Chinese car makers, and sees the competition as an "imminent risk". Zipse has also supported e-fuels as an "important" alternative to fossil fuels.

At the beginning of 2023, the firm culled its range of diesel engines on cars with the '20d' nomenclature, as well as some straight six diesels such as the M440d and 530d xDrive, and every X2. It cited a drop in demand as the justification.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Overdrive 20 December 2023
Good for BMW. There is more than one way to improve the environment and it makes sense not to deny people choice.
xxxx 19 December 2023

Fancy that the old 'sources close to' story is complete rubbish, British media take note.

Peter Cavellini 19 December 2023

Glad to see someone standing up to this situation, what better way to undermine a car industry than banning ICE Engine power, benefactors would be China, which you'd only expect, I read a lot of articles which give the impression that car producers are running around like Headless Chickens panicking, desperately trying to catch up, I don't know exactly how China's economy is doing whether it's as buoyant as it was,but the rest of the Planet is near the tipping point, yes, ICE still has some life something to contribute, and Hydrogen and E-fuels are made more viable?