Announcing “All M vehicles will be electrified by the end of the next decade,” BMW M boss Frank van Meel laid out a more eco-friendly future for the high-performance brand at a media event in Spain.
Car and Driver reports van Meel said electrification won’t happen overnight and will instead be a “step by step” process. He declined to say when the first electrified M model will arrive, but noted timing is everything. As van Meel explained, “If you’re too late then you’re too late, but if you’re too early then you don’t have the straight-to-the-point technology.” Speaking of the latter, he criticized components currently used in electrified models as too heavy.
That will change in the future as BMW has already revealed upcoming models will us better integrated components. In the case of electric vehicles, the company will combine the motor, gearbox and electronics into one unit to reduce weight.
While some fans won’t be happy with the switch to electrification, van Meel noted the M3 has been offered with everything from a four-cylinder to today‘s turbocharged inline-six. He went on to say it doesn’t really matter what powers the car as long as it drives like an M3.
van Meel didn’t mention the possibility of a fully electric M car, but BMW has previously said they could offer an electric vehicle with three electric motors each producing more than 268 hp (200 kW / 271 PS). This would give the model a combined output in excessive of 804 hp (600 kW / 815 PS) and BMW has said this would allow for a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of less than three seconds. The company didn’t specifically say it was talking about an M model, but that kind of performance is more than worthy of the M badge.
Besides talking about electrification, the executive suggested the next M3 and M4 won’t adopt the M5’s all-wheel drive system as “people are quite happy with the [rear-wheel-drive] layout of the cars right now.” However, he noted that could change in the future.