BMW Guidelines Out F1 Return, Supply Vans, Vehicles With Photo voltaic Roof

Automakers generally prefer to avoid divulging details about what the future has in tow, so BMW is announcing what it won’t do. In an extended interview with Automobilwoche, development boss Frank Weber was asked whether there are any plans to extend the current collaboration with Amazon to include delivery vans. Long story short, it’s not going to happen: “A clear no. That’s not our business. We are BMW, we don’t build delivery vans.”

The BMW Chief Technology Officer is also ruling out a return to Formula 1 following its exit from the competition at the end of the 2009 season due to Sauber’s disappointing performance. He explained F1 is in the midst of a transformation as 2026 will see the introduction of new regulations. Meanwhile, endurance racing is more relevant for the German luxury brand since drivetrain technology developed for the M Hybrid V8 is going into road-going M models.

The BMW CTO was also quizzed about the prospects of putting solar roofs on electric cars to prolong their driving range: “Many people like the idea, I know. But I ask everyone to calculate how much electricity you actually generate on the roof of your car and how many additional kilometers of range you would gain with it.”

Fun fact – the 3 Series E46 was optionally available with a solar panel embedded into the glass of the sunroof. The energy harvested by the solar roof was used to power six small ventilators to cool down the cabin. This rare option replaced the original sunroof and had an on/off button flanked by three ventilators that received power through a connector.

During the same lengthy interview, Frank Weber hinted at the prospects of a Neue Klasse-based i3 hatchback successor and said BMW will continue to make cars with combustion engines well into the 2030s.

Source: Automobilwoche (subscription required)

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