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Next generation BMW M3 going hybrid?

Snapshot: Bavaria’s next-gen compact hot sedan could employ a hybrid setup.

The current generation BMW M3 is a relatively new product as it went on sale a little over a year ago, but it seems details are already starting to emerge about its successor which will be out most likely towards the end of the decade. A report issued by The Detroit Bureau says the high-performance compact sedan from Bavaria will feature an uprated variant of the six-cylinder, 3.0-liter TwinPower gasoline engine that will have at least 100 Nm more than in the current M3 where it churns 550 Nm of torque.

According to an executive from BMW M, the turbocharged six-cylinder engine could feature an electric motor (or two) to drive the front wheels. Interestingly, this rumored hybrid setup could also benefit from a recovery system in the same vein as the KERS found in Formula 1 cars. The on-board battery pack will allegedly allow the next M3 to run on electric power for as long as 32 km before running out of juice.

Some of the people working at BMW have already criticized the adoption of a hybrid setup because the added hardware will increase weight and as a consequence hamper the car’s performances. However, by the time the new M3 will hit the market, the technologies used for lithium-ion battery will evolve and the packs are expected to become much lighter. In addition, the added weight will also be offset by a more extensive use of carbon fiber so it’s unlikely a hybrid M3 will be slower than the current car, on the contrary.

Needless to say, if the next generation BMW M3 Sedan will indeed take the hybrid route, the same thing will happen to the M4 Coupe which will likely go on sale concomitantly with its four-door sibling. Until then, a facelift for the current M3 and M4 will likely be out sometime in 2017.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

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