The next-generation BMW M3 high-performance sedan will be available for the first time in the brand’s history as an all-electric vehicle in 2027, the company’s product development head honcho, Frank Weber, confirmed during a roundtable discussion with journalists in Portugal at the global launch of the BMW i5, according to CarSales.com.au.
“The next M3 will be battery-electric, fully battery-electric,” Weber said to the journalists that attended the group interview, adding that the upcoming super-sedan will also be available as a combustion engine model featuring a modified version of the current 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo gasoline engine codenamed S58.
“It’s a nice engine, we will certainly make this Euro 7-capable and other things, so it’s going to happen,” Weber said, referring to the availability of both EV and ICE variants for the next M3. “We will not have two different classes – there will be co-existence of the solutions in the market, which is necessary.”
Gallery: Quad-motor BMW i4 M50-based EV spy photos
The upcoming BMW 3 Series is expected to be based on the German company’s Neue Klasse platform, which was previewed by the Vision Neue Klasse Concept less than two weeks ago, and it would make sense that the next-gen M3 will also utilize this platform. However, this hasn’t been confirmed yet by BMW.
As for the estimated power output of the zero-emissions M3, no specific numbers were thrown into the discussion, but Weber mentioned that the new platform was designed with four electric motors in mind and a power output of up to one megawatt, as well as the possibility of fine-tuning the power delivery between the front and rear axles. In other words, drivers could theoretically flick a switch and transform an all-wheel drive EV into a rear-wheel drive one, an option that’s currently available in modern, ICE-powered BMW M models.
The German automaker hinted toward a 1 MW-capable EV with a modified i4 M50 prototype that was fitted with four electric motors and even presented a computer-generated video sequence where the souped-up i4 did a so-called “tank turn” thanks to its independently controlled motors.
The M3 EV news comes a few months after BMW M boss Frank van Meel said that the brand expects to sell more battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) than pure combustion models from 2028, so the decision to develop a zero-emissions M3 isn’t a big surprise.