BMW put an M badge for the very first time on the i4 and created the 544-horsepwer i4 M50. And it seems to be a success story for the Bavarians as the automaker just announced that it also happened to be the best-selling M-badged model in 2022, outselling more traditional models like the M3, M4 and all the M-badged SUVs.
The manufacturer says it sold 177,257 M-badged vehicles in 2022, an 8.4 percent increase year-over-year. And the most important market for its M models was still the US, where it says it managed to sell over 15,000 EVs (including non-M models) last year, marking a 4.7 percent increase compared to 2021.
According to Franciscus van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M, “the enthusiasm of the M community for emotionally powerful performance on the road and on the racetrack has carried us through the entire anniversary year. This is also expressed in a new sales record for BMW M automobiles, which gives us a positive outlook for 2023.”
This year the manufacturer will begin rolling out two more important electrified models bearing the M badge: one is the i7 M70, which will be the hottest electric version of the new 7 Series, while the other is the XM super SUV (a plug-in hybrid, not a full EV), which we got an early look at last year and which will enter production this year at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.
And BMW has big plans for future electric M models. We recently covered a report which shed more light on the brand’s quad-motor powertrain that will find its way into future bespoke M EVs, previewed by a very cool looking i4-based prototype that we got to see via some very good photos sent to us by our spies.
BMW even shows this prototype doing a tank turn in the only promo video where it’s featured. We don’t know if this feature will make it to production, since there wouldn’t really be a use for it in the real world, but it shows what can be achieved with a four-motor configuration.