Electric turbochargers are the snake oil of automotive technology. Often times, these contraptions (seen above), which resemble something sold at a boat shop, are peddled on Ebay with dubious claims regarding horsepower and fuel economy gains.
But a report out of Britain suggests that BMW‘s upcoming X3M will be powered by a new tri-turbo straight-six engine, using two conventional turbos and an “electric turbocharger”. In the spirit of wild conjecture that permeates all automotive news, no further information was given about this technology, which would be revolutionary should it actually exist.
In any case, we do believe that the odds of an X3M are high, in light of Audi’s plans for an RS-tuned Q5, and the German luxo-brand’s endless drive to fill every possible niche.