After two decades of normally-aspirated high-revving engines shoehorned under the hoods of its M cars, BMW is changing direction and will begin to offer direct-injection turbocharged powerplants in its future high-performance flagships. The German automaker is blaming tough environmental emission standards and the soaring manufacturing costs of the specialty-built V8 and V10 engines found in today's M3, M5, and M6 models for its decision. We also suspect the fact that both Audi and Mercedes-Benz have successfully offered torque-laden forced-induction powerplants for years on their performance models may have something to do with it (also keep in mind that an aftermarket-tuned version of BMW's own twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 can easily match the power output of the M3's normally-aspirated 4.0-liter V8). The first new M model to carry the turbocharged honor will be the X6 xDrive M, with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 reportedly making 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That same engine is reportedly going into the next F10-chassis M5 due in late 2010.

[Source: Autoweek]