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Executive Analysis of BMW's Global Powertrain Strategies, Forecast to 2030

  • Report

  • 61 Pages
  • June 2018
  • Region: Global
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • ID: 4583889

Fully Electric Cars Could Constitute Up to 23% of Sales; Powertrain Modularity to be the Key to a Sustainable Transition

This study outlines the powertrain strategies of BMW AG for the next decade. An analysis of advancements in combustion engine technology, transmission technology, hybrid and electric propulsion strategies, and lightweighting approaches has been included in the research. This study gives a comprehensive picture of the kind of transformation the company will be undergoing in terms of its powertrain technologies as it prepares to cater to the next level of emission targets, testing cycles, while at the same time, addressing evolving customer demands.

A few strategic findings are discussed below:

  • BMW feels that diesel will remain very important to their vehicle offering for the next 20 years. However, the aggressive electrification plan could play a significant role in making BMW diesels less favorable to the market.
  • BMW’s continued focus on diesel engine development is backed by its high efficiency aftertreatment system which is a combination of NOx storage catalyst and selective catalytic reduction, enabling RDE compliance.
  • Effective combustion, emission advantages, performance improvement and parts standardization are the prime reasons why BMW will standardize 500 cc displacement for 3-cylinder, 4-cylinder, and straight six engines.
  • BMW has a basket of right sized engines, particularly up to 3L. The next step in optimizing cylinder displaced volumes or energy efficiency will revolve around better fuel injection and 48V based systems.

Research Scope

  • Technology: Engine Downsizing, Turbocharging, Direct Injection Gasoline Systems
  • Application: Powertrain and Emissions, Engine Technologies, Gasoline, Diesel and EV Technologies, CO2 Reduction
  • Regions: North America, Europe, China, Japan

Key Features

Aim: To understand the powertrain strategies of BMW AG, to examine their road map to compliance, and evaluate the importance and future of each propulsion type: gasoline, diesel, hybrid, fully electric, and fuel cells.


  • To understand the various approaches to platform standardization and modularity in BMW powertrains
  • To understand the new BMW platforms strategy to analyze how BMW plans a product portfolio revamp leveraging powertrain and vehicle modularity
  • To evaluate the roadmap of different powertrain technologies at BMW
  • To evaluate the electrification strategy and develop forecast for electric propulsion
  • To understand the preference for particular fuel types and propulsions systems for BMW for reducing overall emissions while increasing sales volumes
  • To examine the various transmission choices at BMW and compare their role in BMW powertrains in the future
  • To understand the various risks involved and provide actionable set of recommendations.

Key Issues Addressed

  • What is the future of diesel engines at BMW? What are the plans for RDE compliance and how will this technology evolve?
  • How big a role does modularity of powertrain systems play in reducing the overall CO2 emissions and improving fuel economy for BMW?
  • What further steps will lead to electrification at BMW? How does the company plan to achieve the tall targets it has set for electrification?
  • What is the future of various powertrain systems and engine families at BMW and what key technology changes are to be expected?
  • How is the transmission strategy going to evolve? What preference does BMW have for torque converter or dual clutch transmission?

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Key Findings
  • BMW’s Principal Elements of Powertrain Strategy
  • Powertrain Uncertainty and BMW’s Push of Modularity
  • Future of Diesel at BMW - Diesel-Gasoline-Electric Scenarios
  • BMW Transmission Strategy - Overall Outlook
  • BMW Group - Battery Electric Vehicles Outlook
  • BMW Group - Technology Adoption: Category-wise Summary
  • Key Conclusions

  • Research Scope, Objectives, Background, and Methodology
  • Research Aims and Objectives
  • Key Questions this Study will Answer
  • Research Methodology
  • Research Scope
  • Research Background
  • Vehicle Segmentation

  • BMW - Combustion Engines Outlook
  • Elements of BMW’s Powertrain Philosophy
  • BMW’s Engine Basket - Future of Engine Sizing
  • BMW Quad-Turbo Diesel Engine Development - Technology Targets
  • BMW 6-cylinder Gasoline Engines - Lifecycle Changes and Evolution
  • BMW 6-cylinder Diesel Engines - Lifecycle Changes and Evolution
  • The BMW 500cc Standard Cylinder Architecture
  • BMW Performance Enhancement - Water Injection Strategy
  • BMW 3- and 4-Cylinder Diesel - Common Engine Architecture for the Future
  • BMW 3- and 4-Cylinder Gasoline - Common Engine Architecture for the Future
  • Future of Diesel at BMW - Diesel-Gasoline-Electric Scenarios
  • RDE Compliance - BMW Diesel Engines: Exhaust Aftertreatment
  • BMW Manufacturing Locations - Powertrain and Vehicles Assembly

  • BMW - Transmission Outlook
  • Transmission Strategy - Automatic Transmission: BMW Perspective
  • Transmission Strategy - Dual Clutch Transmission: BMW Perspective
  • Transmission Strategy - Manual Transmission: BMW Perspective
  • BMW Transmission Strategy - Overall Outlook

  • BMW - Electrification Outlook
  • BMW Group - Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles Outlook
  • BMW Group - Battery Electric Vehicles Outlook
  • BMW Group - Fuel Cell Vehicles Outlook
  • Electrification-Propulsion Split-BMW Production Snapshot
  • BMW xEV Propulsion Split, 2017–2025: Key Highlights
  • Future Battery Electric Strategy at BMW - Solid State Technology
  • BMW vs Tesla’s Battery Systems - Energy Density Perspective

  • Growth Opportunities and Companies to Action
  • Growth Opportunity - Breakthrough Trends and Companies
  • Strategic Imperatives for Success and Growth

  • Conclusions and Future Outlook
  • Key Conclusions
  • The Last Word - 3 Big Predictions
  • Legal Disclaimer

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms Used
  • Learn More - Next Steps
  • Additional Sources of Information on Study Topic Area
  • Market Engineering Methodology
  • List of Exhibits

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • BMW