BMW M’s First Electric Car Is Definitely Coming and Will Be Faster Than the M4 CSL
The M CEO predicts an improved electrified M car above previous iterations fueled by ICEsby Amreetam Basu, on
By 2030, BMW will go full electric, as many of its competitors will. But, unlike the non-performance-oriented lineup, the M division finds it challenging to make battery-operated full-fat M cars, as the weight factor will snatch away the joy of driving them around racetracks. Of course, enthusiasts like you and me love the M3 and M5->art188713] because of the true character they hold. But let’s face it- electrification is the way to look forward, and CEO Frank Van Meel has confirmed it.
The M Performance division has a couple of electric-only models, like the iX M60, i4 M50, and the impending i7 M70, with a claimed 660 horsepower. These EV models from the M division are a turning point for the sub-brand. During an interview with Road & Track at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the Hero of M town stated: “I think there is no alternative to going electric. The only question is when.” It is clear that the M division is waiting for the right technology that would be the right fit for the M cars. He continued by describing the M4 CSL as the present pinnacle of the M division, and that building an EV faster than the M4 CSL would be a complex decision. But it could be possible.
Van Meel is determined to make the best out of the M cars, even in the era of EVs: “the DNA where we come from is that regardless of what powertrain we use, a new M3 should like an M3 and be better than its predecessor, no matter what is inside. That’s the goal we have for the electric M cars of the future, so there’s no need to be afraid of the drivetrain, since it won’t change what M stands for. We wouldn’t do it. It has to be an M3 or an M5, and it has to be better than its predecessor.”
While pointing towards the second M division-only car, the XM, Frank compared the high-performance SUV to the LMDh race car prototype, unveiled in June 2022. The S68 engine coupled to a plug-in hybrid system connects both of them. He added, “you can see that when it works in racing, it works for high-performance road cars as well.” Before the EV takeover, the M division will continue making hybrid powertrains, and the XM will be the first example.
When a journalist from Road & Track questioned the M CEO about the weight gain from generation to generation and how that can affect the upcoming cars from the performance division, he replied with confidence: “what you can see is that over the years, cars have grown bigger. Also, a lot of regulations and more comfort functions came to cars, so they got heavier over time. Still, I think what we managed to do quite well is to keep that weight increase as low as possible and make the cars even faster.”
2022 has been a celebration of the M division’s 50th anniversary, and we are a couple of months away from the M2 and the XM launch, which is destined to be the heaviest M car and will pack 750 horsepower.
Source: Road & Track