Company's R&D boss names some engines facing the chop, and thinks electrified vehicles will account for 20 to 30 per cent of global sales by 2030.
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Klaus Fröhlich, the head of research and development for BMW, says the company will "streamline" its engine offerings in order to develop motors that are compatible with tougher, yet more divergent, regulations throughout the world.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Fröhlich noted the most immediate victim will be the company's 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

According to Fröhlich, the 3.0-litre quad-turbo straight-six diesel, which powers the M550d amongst others, "won’t be replaced" as it is "too complicated to build" thanks to its sheer quantity of turbochargers.

He also offers a bleak assessment for the future of the company's V8 and V12 engines. The V12 "may not have a future" as it suffers from ever-increasing compliance costs, while only a "few thousand units" are made every year.

As for the V8, Fröhlich says it is "already difficult to create a strong business case" for the engine as the company already has a six-cylinder plug-in hybrid with similar levels of power.

BMW is preparing an updated version of its CLAR architecture with a new central floor section, which will allow future vehicles to house higher density battery packs, as well as larger fuel tanks.

This change will enable plug-in hybrid models to have an EV range up to 120km, as well as permit the production of all-electric models on the architecture.

Above: All-electric BMW i4 prototype.

Gazing into his crystal ball, Fröhlich says the "best assumption is that electrified vehicles will account for 20 per cent to 30 per cent of worldwide sales by 2030", although the take-up rate will vary wildly between regions and countries.

The R&D chief believes China's highly populated, and heavily polluted, east coast will be "will become purely electric pretty soon", although much of the remainder of the country will rely on internal combustion vehicles for the next two decades due to the lack of infrastructure.

For Europe, he sees pure electric and plug-in hybrid models each accounting for 25 per cent of the market, with petrol and diesel cars making up the rest.

In the US, Fröhlich thinks battery electric cars will be most prevalent on the west coast, and in some cities along the east coast, but petrol should remain dominant elsewhere.