BMW is set to use the expertize of the Magna International automotive engineering giant as part of its Season Five technical supplier package, e-racing365 can reveal.
Magna and BMW have close ties in the automotive industry with the Austrian-based Magna Steyr subsidiary building some of the BMW 5 Series models a production base in Graz.
BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt wouldn’t go into details on a possible collaboration with Magna when questioned by e-racing365 at the Berlin E-Prix earlier this month but did confirm a network of technical partners.
“At the moment the focus is on the hardware which is done internally at BMW and that was really important for us, so the electric motor, the inverter is all BMW,” Marquardt told e-racing365 in Berlin.
“For sure there are suppliers and partners involved so we try to get the best package together, but at the end of the day it’s a BMW package.”
The company has extensive experience in both hybrid and electrical engineering solutions including work on the BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid range from 2017 onwards.
Magna representatives have attended ABB FIA Formula E Championship races before, including vice president Rupert Buchsteiner visiting both the Mexico City and Rome events this year.
Buchsteiner has some motorsport pedigree having worked with Helmut Marko at his eponymous RSM Marko F3000 team from 1991 to 1999.
The Austrian engineer also had a short spell at Minardi before moving on to Ferrari for four years.
Buchsteiner joined Magna Steyr in 2009 and has held various positions since and has worked on several specific BMW projects.
It is believed that some of this expertise will be used for the BMW iFE.18.
The car will feature a special strap line in its testing phase stating ‘BMW iFE.18 – TechLab for BMW iNEXT’, identifying BMW’s extensive future EV program.
Jaguar Land Rover also has a contract manufacturing agreement with Magna Steyr, which produces both the I-PACE and E-PACE models.