BMW Copies Hyundai's Homework, Plans Future EVs With Fake Shifts

BMW Copies Hyundai's Homework, Plans Future EVs With Fake Shifts

BMW and especially its M division have a long history of building some of the finest performance cars on the market. From the E30 to the E39 and even the G80, BMW has proven it knows what makes a car fun to drive. So at first glance, it may sound odd to hear that BMW’s future performance EVs will borrow a page from Hyundai’s book, but that’s exactly what’s happening. In the next couple of years, expect BMW to add fake shifts to its EVs just like you get in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N.

2025 Hyundai IONIQ 5 N Ride Along

Speaking with Top Gear, Frank van Meel, the head of BMW’s M division, spoke highly of the Ioniq 5 N, saying:

I like the way they think — that’s the way we think as well. You need to have feedback [in the car]. If you’re on the track you don’t have time to look at your speedometer or tachometer. If you’re racing, if you take the time to look at your display, two cars will overtake you. So what you want to have is a way to know what gear you’re in, a way to ‘feel’ the revs.

In a pure EV with one gear, no sound and no emotion, you don’t know if you’re doing 125, 150 or whatever. You need a solution for that. You have to find a connection to the brain of the driver, without forcing you to look at your speedometer. So I think what [Hyundai] did with gear emulation and sound — which is actually what we’re working on already – is the way to go. We need something like that in our fast performance cars.

See also  Ford enters Ranger Raptor in Australian off-road endurance race

And he’s right. We were initially extremely skeptical when we heard Hyundai was working on a way to make an EV feel like it has a dual-clutch transmission. It just seemed completely unnecessary, and yet, when we finally got to drive the Ioniq 5 N, we quickly realized we were wrong to be suspicious. It legitimately makes the car more engaging, especially on the track.

And honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if BMW wasn’t the only automaker to copy Hyundai’s homework here. In fact, we hope more automakers offer a similar feature in the future. They’ll, of course, have to get the tuning right so it doesn’t feel completely artificial, but if they can at least match what Hyundai’s done, we’ll all be better off for it.