BMW M Performance Division Has An Electrified Future
A hybrid M3 could be a lot of fun.
Amid BMW’s announcement to have 25 electrified models in its lineup by 2025, including 12 fully electric vehicles, the company confirms that at least one of them would be an M model. The expansion will more than double the company’s electrified lineup from nine cars and the C Evolution scooter today.
“We will be increasing the share of electrified models across all brands and model series,” BMW Chairman Harald Krüger said. “And, yes, that also includes the Rolls-Royce brand and BMW M vehicles. Furthermore, we are currently gearing all BMW Group plants towards e-mobility. In the future, we will be able to equip all our models with every drivetrain.”
BMW execs have been pointing toward an electrified future for the M range for quite some time. In 2016, Dirk Hacker, BMW M’s vice-president for engineering, hinted at the possibility when he told Auto Express:
“We will look at electrification – I think it could be inevitable – but it depends on the possibility of increasing performance.”
In 2015, another exec suggested that the powertrain could use a combustion engine for motivating the rear wheels and electric motors for turning the front axle.
At this point, driving enthusiasts shouldn’t have any concern that electrification means any less fun behind the wheel. Videos regularly show the Tesla Model S accelerating past some of the world’s premiere performance cars, and BMW’s own i8 is quite a capable sports coupe, too.
BMW’s future electric lineup will include a Mini EV in 2019, while an X3 EV will join the range in 2020, too. The company is also teasing a new sedan for the i model range. The company says that future EVs could have a range of 435 miles (700 kilometers) – we assume that is the optimistic NEDC scale talking (think ~250-300 miles in the real world/US EPA standard).