First it was the bi-turbo V6 patent that leaked, and now BMW has filed for a patent on their electric turbocharger, leading to new rumors for what will potentially power the next generation M3. Ever since BMW started regularly employing turbochargers on their factory powerplants, they've been seeking ways to efficiently address the issues of turbocharger lag vs power at higher RPM.
The potential answer to the very old dilemma of turbochargers may be hidden in BMW's plans for an electric turbo that was recently sent into the German patent office. The goal is to have an electric turbocharger that utilizes a small electric motor to work in tandem with a larger, more conventional turbo. The electric motor will power the electric turbo's turbine during the transition from idle to load, drastically reducing turbo lag. In addition, BMW claims that the electric turbo will increase fuel efficiency by helping keep the engine in its optimum operating range.
What we'll really see in the next generation M3 is still up in the air, but it's great to see that BMW is looking to push the envelope in improving turbocharger technology that has been around for decades.
More: BMW Patents Electric Turbocharger, Will We See It In The Next M3?