BMW M Performance is preparing to launch its own division The newest pure-combustion sports car in its fiftieth year of operationbefore embarking on a particularly rapid electrification program that will lead to the introduction of the most powerful BMW M5 ever and an electric successor to the BMW M3.
It has so far been a busy year for the segment most associated with BMW performance, which has already revealed the BMW M4 CSL, BMW M3 Touring and its endurance racing prototype 23 years later, the BMW V8 Hybrid LMDh. But the production version of the 740-horsepower BMW XM Hybrid and the long-awaited second-generation BMW M2 Coupe have yet to arrive.
The upcoming M2 Coupe will be the last M car not to use electric propulsion, and is instead powered by a weaker version of the 3.0-liter V6 B58 that powers its M3 and M4 siblings. Meanwhile, the new BMW XM, which will arrive around the same time, will be the first M hybrid and Spearhead the transition to electricity One of the most successful performing brands in the world.
The next step will be the new generation of BMW M5 which will use a different version of the electrified V8 engine from XM. BMW aims to have 50% of its global sales run electric by 2030, and in some markets (including the UK and likely the entire European Union), it won’t be able to sell cars with the combustion engine after 2035. This means that even its iconic cars M-brand will eventually convert to pure electric power. Now, Frank van Mel President of BMW M introduced the British Autocar The first clues to the brand’s priorities as it prepares to prove the future of its high-performance cars has suggested so too The legendary BMW M3 will stay true to its unwavering formula Even after using a conventional motor.
On paper it will be an original BMW M3
“The history of the BMW M3 is eternal,” said Van Mill. Whenever we change the history of the engine, from a four-cylinder to a six-cylinder, from an eight-cylinder to a six-cylinder or add a turbocharger, its story continues. Maybe it will go electric, but if it does, it will always be an original BMW M3. Whatever the powertrain, you should always be able to drive our cars and know they belong to the M family. We have stood the test of time for 50 years and will continue to do so.”
And he added in a decidedly interesting way: “I’d like to see M electric, hybrid and all-electric cars in the future.”
His comments suggest that BMW chiefs aren’t concerned about the appeal of new high-performance products that wane when they go electric, and they don’t seem to be customers. “We’ve just spoken to customers and the feedback is that 90-95% doesn’t matter which direction we take the powertrain. They just want an M. Yeah, some say if we don’t make V8s, they’re out there, but that’s fine: I I respect them,” van Mill continued.
The current BMW M3 was launched in 2020 as a highly customized and more powerful version of the third generation G20, which has just been updated and is expected to remain on sale until around 2025. The life cycle of a BMW M3 That timeline has yet to be confirmed, but Van Meel’s hint of an electrified future for the super sedan raises the possibility of a hot version of the radical new “NK1” expected to arrive in 2025.
Known only by its code name, this new pivotal model, which is expected to essentially succeed today’s BMW 3 Series, will be the first BMW to use the German manufacturer’s upcoming Neue Klasse architecture, which will eventually replace the currently in use FAAR and CLAR platforms. In both conventional and electric models. Notable features will include next-generation motors, upgraded battery packs, and a customizable digital operating system. More important in the context of a full-bore M car, this car new architecture It was designed not only to accommodate front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, but also to accommodate BMW’s long-favorite rear-wheel drive format.
This means that a range of purely electric M cars can broadly mirror their current combustion offerings, with the choice of ‘standard’ rear-wheel drive cars and twin-engine xDrive offerings. And while power, torque and 0-100 km/h figures will be the clearest distinguishing factors from the standard on which it is based, any electric BMW M3 must remain true to tradition by getting an overhaul of the themed design. Updated chassis components.
BMW already offers M versions of its electric cars, and this is the case with the BMW i4 M50 and BMW iX M60, but although these cars are on par with today’s BMW M4 and BMW X5 M, for example, they are more present as the equivalents Electric cars for cars bearing the M Sport brand, such as the M440i.
So far, a BMW M electric car. It would be a more targeted suggestion. Van Meel suggested that priorities would be reducing weight, a common concern of electric sports car engineers, and maintaining the dynamic style for which M-themed cars are known.
“We just have to keep investing in light technology,” he said, speaking of the fact that electric vehicles are inherently heavier than their combustion equivalents. But electric cars have some advantages. For example, you can get rid of some soundproofing materials, and reducing the weight of the battery is important. Interesting for engineers.” Autocar.
Some of these technologies have already been mastered in automobile production. “The XM’s body control is amazing because the center of gravity is so low,” said Van Mill. “This allows you to lubricate the springs and shock absorbers with no roll.” Impressively, he also spoke about the real-world applicability of the technology developed through BMW’s recently expanded efforts in racing.
Like the upcoming XM and M5, the company’s new LMDh race car comes with Hybrid V8 And while the engines aren’t identical, Van Mel suggested that racing car development would be introduced on M-brand road cars in the future because “long-distance racing goes hand in hand with transmission technology”.
“There are many lessons about the LMDH-class prototype, from aerodynamics to cooling, as well as the fact that the V8 hybrid transmission is linked to what we have in XM,” he added. In terms of the opportunities that electrification presents to the M car, van Mill added that what the engineers really love is that once the electrified components are put into the drivetrain, the control of torque and power is much better and faster and easier to burn. The engine, “especially in racing.”
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”