The next BMW M car will be going all-electric. Arriving late 2021.
BMW's fabled "Motorsport" division will release its first all-electric vehicle by the end of 2021. But don't shout "Blasphemy!" just yet.
BMW's "M" division has been on a wild ride for the past few years.
In just under a decade, we've seen the latest M-models sprout all sorts of previously unthinkable extremities. Whether it be extra weight, turbocharging, or even the long-feared adoption of all-wheel-drive, the fabled "Motorsport" group is going through something of an identity crisis.
Yet, it was seemingly inevitable that electric propulsion would rear its mangily head in the search for more and more power. After a record year of sales, the head of BMW M, Markus Flasch, is apparently looking to upend all of our expectations for BMW's performance branch.
"Next year, we will launch the first battery-electric M car in the performance segment, based on the i4, as something to confirm," said Flasch.
"On the high-performance battery-electric technology, there is still some time that we need until technology is ready and can take it on with an existing high-performance car, like an M3 or M4," he said. "This will take some more time, but we're working on that."
"It's not just about power output and longitudinal performance. So, the question for us is, when can we combine the power of the systems that we develop in the company and bring it into an M package?"
"Steering-wise and lateral dynamics-wise, this is the big question. Sound, of course, is another one."
"That is something where we have science going on, to create the M-specific feeling, but first of all, the biggest question to answer is how to handle weight of a battery-electric car and still offer M-specific, or M-style, dynamics."
Rumor has it that the car Flasch is referring to is the recently-unveiled i4. In M-form, the i4 will be expected to receive a fairly significant power jump. With two electric motors, pushing out a combined 500-horsepower, putting it in line with the gasoline-powered M4.
Flasch also noted that 2022 will be BMW M's 50th-anniversary and that in light of the special occasion, customers can expect "a year full of surprises."