According to a report by Autocar, the next-generation BMW M3 will be fully electric when it arrives in 2027. To be based on the German carmaker’s Neue Klasse platform, it will arrive soon after the next-generation, also electric 3 Series.
“The next M3 will be battery-electric, full battery-electric,” said BMW development board member Frank Weber. However, we explained that “there will be a coexistence” with the current internal combustion engine (ICE) M3 for a period, “which is necessary.” This is because the S58 3.0 litre inline-six engine used in the current G80 M3 is scheduled to remain in production beyond 2030.
Weber also told the publication that the electric M3 will feature the brand’s ‘Heart of Joy’ control unit. This was revealed during the Vision Neue Klasse presentation and it is a device that integrates all driving-related systems into a single unit.
“This is a controller that has taken the last 20 or 30 years of our experience into a control unit. Everything that is driving performance related, chassis control related, propulsion [and] powertrain related is now in one integrated control unit,” explained Weber.
“It’s almost the history of how you control a vehicle that is in that thing. We do it ourselves – we don’t buy it. The software is proprietary. This is why we talk about it. We say, see, this will enable driving dynamics functions that you will love. Some of you have an interest in the ultimate driving machine – you will see functions in [the Heart of Joy] that are crazy,” he added.
As reported by BMW Blog, the Heart of Joy unifies everything into a single software stack for reduced latency compared to traditional architectures. The company says the new system can reduce delays down to one millisecond instead of the conventional systems that are as high as 10 to 20 milliseconds.
The Heart of Joy is essentially the successor to the ‘Hand of God’ control unit that BMW first used in the i8 hybrid sports car, and it was developed to support powertrains with up to four electric motors. Weber says the unit can deploy up to 1 MW (1360 PS or 1,341 hp) of total power to the, although he didn’t say how much the electric M3 will actually come with. If the idea of a quad-motor M car sounds familiar, that’s because BMW showcased just such a prototype last August.
Weber also pointed out that customers are willing to accept an electric M car, claiming people want to have what BMW M can provide in a battery-electric world. “We see this clearly from consumers. Some come to me and say ‘no, the M guys don’t want this’. I say no, be careful, because we do a lot of customer studies here. M customers want, simply, the best and highest performance you can get,” he said.
“And the moment you get into a car that is 1 MW in performance and you can control every individual wheel, I can guarantee you there might be something wrong with the engine sound if they still miss this, but not in how the car behaves. It’s incredible,” he continued.
* This article was originally published here
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