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BMW M Division to focus on weight, not power

BMW M4 Coupe

German prestige brand's tuning arm will concentrate on power-to-weight ratio. 

The boffins at BMW's motorsport-inspired M Division have turned out some of the best performance cars any keen driver could want, and the M badge has become a byword for great handling and high power.

But it seems the power part of the equation may have hit a plateau, with BMW saying that future developments will focus on trimming weight from the cars rather than uprating the engines.

“We want to be in a different league for power-to-weight, but we prefer to have a car that weighs 1000kg rather than one with 1000 horsepower,” M-Division’s head of product management, Carsten Pries said.

It's true that the M cars could stand to lose a few kilos -- as they've grown in size and increasingly added new cabin technology and safety equipment over the years, they've also stacked on extra weight. 

And the new strategy will not only produce cars that handle better, but are also more fuel-efficient -- not that many M buyers care about the fuel bill, but efficiency is the latest Holy Grail for the European car industry, with the favoured answers being lighter cars with smaller turbocharged engines.

As Carlist points out, the new strategy can already seen in the new 2014 BMW M3 and M4, which are trimmer and carry a smaller turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine compared to the V8-powered E92 it replaced. And who wouldn't applaud a move that could leads to more lightweight, driver-focused and agile cars like the E30 M3.