According to director of development Klaus Frölich, there will be no direct successors for the i3 and i8, opening up the potential for a vehicle like the Vision M to top the company’s range of electrified performance vehicles.
“M is fast and furious and fun and that always works, but there is no direct successor for the i3 and no direct successor for the i8,” he said.
The report doesn’t give too many details about the production-spec Vision M Next, but Frölich said that it has to perform like a proper M car and that the company has already established a business case for it.
Underpinning the concept ism largely, the same carbon fiber and aluminum structure of the outgoing i8. Whereas the latter features a turbocharged inline-three-cylinder engine and a single electric motor, though, the Vision M Next features an inline-four and a pair of electric motors. This results in a total of 600 HP and allows the hybrid sports car to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in approximately 3.0 seconds and max out at 186 mph (300 km/h).
BMW had reportedly been considering making its next performance vehicle all-electric but decided against it due to the weight of the large battery pack that would necessitate.
“Any M car has to perform like an M car. If you do a pure electric sports car you need such a big battery that it would be a 2.1 or 2.2-tonne sports car to get to 600 HP. And these 2.1-2.2 tonne cars don’t behave well on the Nürburgring. Being fast is not only about longitudinal acceleration. That part is easy,” Frölich said.