BMW's first electrified M car to arrive this year
But will it be a hybrid or all-electric?
It had to happen someday, and 2021 seems to be the year of reckoning. Avoiding major marketing campaigns or a big announcement, BMW has decided to slyly slip through this crucial information about the first electrified M car’s impending arrival.
The 2020 sales report released recently by BMW states, “During the year 2021, the BMW M GmbH will be presenting an electrically powered performance automobile for the first time.” While the statement does confirm the presence of electrification to be a part of propulsion, it’s still unclear on the extent of it.
If the idea is to move gradually, the German carmaker might adopt the hybrid approach first. That entails, deploying the twin-turbo inline-6 cylinder mills from the current-gen grille-faced M3 and M4 with a 48V mild-hybrid system. Or they could go for a plug-in hybrid derivative which could see M cars run on standalone electric propulsion as well as utilise the electric propulsion for initial and instant acceleration while the twin-turbos pays heed to the top speed aspect.
But if BMW wants to rush the electric infusion in its performance division, it could present us with an M-derivative of the i4 all-electric sedan. Though there’s a catch. The latest model to bear the i badge from BMW is still in the concept phase. However, it’s all set to get launched later this year. And expecting an M derivative in the same year as the standard car’s launch would be pushing the corporate timelines of carmakers.
Additionally, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary for the Bavarian brand. The above-mentioned sales report further stated the golden anniversary would be “a year full of surprises”. So, 2022 seems like the more viable year for the arrival of the i4 M, if it gets the green light. Plus, with the uprising trend of crossovers and SUVs, how can we forget about the impending launch of the iX crossover! The following year may see an M variant launch for the same as well.
Regardless of the pandemic, BMW’s M division registered a six per cent growth by selling 144,218 units worldwide. Arch-rival Mercedes’ performance division AMG failed to replicate the same as the three-pointed star brand saw its sales shrink by five per cent to 125,129 unit sales. Could this be a precursor to the forthcoming battle between the Germans?