It seems the age of BMW M cars that run on pure combustion power may be at an end.
According to Frank van Meel, the upcoming BMW M line (which includes the 2023 BMW M2) may be the last batch to be powered purely by internal combustion. The head of the German brand’s performance division stated that they are looking towards the electrification of the M cars. They plan to implement this in the next few years.
As the M brand goes through the change, even the manual gearbox won’t be spared from the advancement. He cited the trend has been moving to automatic transmissions these past couple of years. He also stated the 48-volt onboard assist isn't even included in these last pure ICE-powered M cars.
With electrification, BMW has already introduced the BMW XM. That model is scheduled to arrive later this year and is slated to be the new M standard. Currently, the BMW M5 (G90) is the German automaker's hybrid test vehicle. The XM’s technologies will be developed in line with these models says the M boss.
When asked about what else he has planned for the M badge, Frank van Meel mentioned 3 main topics. First was despite the M division's shift to electrification, performance for these cars will remain the same. Secondly, he mentioned the transfer of knowledge and technologies from motorsport events with the M4 GT4, M4 GT3 and LMDh to their high-performance M EVs. Lastly, he wants to address the demand for “Expressive Luxury”. This is where they want to convey the growing demand for expressive and individual vehicle wishes.
With the news of the M2, M3 Touring, and M4 CSL cars arriving soon, BMW wants to remind everyone that they still have what it takes to build performance cars 50 years since they first started building such vehicles. If the move to electrification isn’t your cup of tea, then the upcoming batch of M models may be your last chance to enjoy sheer driving pleasure without electric assist.
Source: Bimmer Today