The new BMW M2 will be the last model developed by the Motorsport division without any electrical assistance: after it, all BMW M will be electrified to a greater or lesser extent. The first hybrid from BMW’s high-performance department will be the upcoming XM SUV, whose powertrain will also make its way to the upcoming M5.
However, BMW will also have 100% electric sports cars in its range. Although the most performance versions of the i4 (M50) and iX (M60) are signed by M, it should be noted that they are not “pure-bred” M models like the M4 or X5 M, but rather belong to the M Sport range, located halfway between the standard BMW and the “true” M, as is the case with the M440i or X5 M50i.
Since BMW aims for 50% of its worldwide sales to be electric by 2030, sooner or later a fully electric M will also come to the Bavarian manufacturer’s offer. Everything indicates that the first to take the step will be the legendary M3; Not surprisingly, the next generation of the 3 Series, scheduled for 2025, will be 100% electric thanks to the use of the Neue Klasse platform.
Frank van Meel, head of BMW M, has revealed some of the keys to this transformation. “The history of the M3 is eternal. Every time we change its engine, from a four-cylinder to a six-cylinder to an eight-cylinder to a turbocharged six-cylinder, the story continues. Maybe it will go electric, but if it does, it will always be an M3.”
BMW M wants to lighten its electric cars
“Whatever the powertrain, you should always be able to drive our cars and know they are M models. We have stood the test of time for 50 years and will continue to do so. I’d love to see electrified Ms in the future, hybrid and pure electric, but if we do bring them, they’ll be so innovative you’ll be like, ‘This is crazy, I didn’t see this coming. ‘
We just talked to customers and the answer is that 90-95% don’t care which direction we go with the powertrain. They just want an M car. Yeah, some say if we don’t do V8s they’ll go away, but that’s ok – I respect that. ” Van Meel says that the priorities when developing a 100% electric BMW M are to reduce weight and maintain its characteristic dynamism.
“We just have to keep investing in lightning technology. We already produce a lot of carbon. But electric ones have some advantages. Some of the sound insulation can be removed, for example, and having the battery weight so low is interesting for engineers. That allows you to soften the suspensions and still not have rocked. What the engineers like is that once you get electrified components in your drivetrain, torque and power control is much better, faster, and easier than on a combustion engine.”