From Mazda to Ford, sports car manufacturers are looking for ways to electrify their fastest and most iconic models in the 2020s. BMW's high-performance M Division also threw its hat into the ring, but noted that the technology is not ready yet and that it does not want to compromise to make headlines.
Developing a battery-powered sports car with a handle as well as accelerating it is easier said than done. The biggest problem for engineers is that a sports car needs to be light and agile to ensure responsive handling. A battery pack increases the weight considerably and can not be easily compensated. That's why BMW M does not see an electric car in the near future.
Speaking to the Australian website CarsGuide, BMW M Product Manager Carsten Pries confirmed that the company will continue to produce gasoline-powered cars for some time. "It's not easy to predict when [electric technology] will be ready and good enough for us," he said. He added that he is watching the technology very closely.
It's not that BMW does not have an electric powertrain in the arsenal. The company beat most of its competitors when it launched the i3 in 201
"BEVs have a lot of weight today, so the technology would be better if the weight of the batteries dropped," he explained. McLaren is in a similar situation and has come to the same conclusion. Ford cited weight issues when asked about the possibility of making a Mach-E with higher horsepower.
And while Pries told CarsGuide that he's impressed by the Porsche Taycan, he added that he plays in a different league than anything that comes out BMW M's garage. "We look at Porsche, but the key factor is what we stand for, and we're very much into motorsport, so the decision to build an electric vehicle would have to match that image," he concluded. Never say never.