All-electric BMW M cars due by 2027

BMW will bring its M Sport division into the electric era with performance focused electric cars due within the next four years

BMW M4

High-performance all-electric BMW M models should be on sale by 2027, Auto Express can reveal, with M’s head of development Dirk Häcker giving us some insight into the development of the new models.

Although Häcker wouldn’t be drawn on a date for the first all-electric M model, simply saying that it was “far away”, Auto Express understands that it will be based on BMW’s Neue Klasse electric architecture, set to be used for the first time on a BMW model in 2025.

That means the first M car to be based on Neue Klasse could be launched as soon as 2026, with a likely on sale date of 2027. And development work is well underway, with Häcker exclusively revealing some of the details to Auto Express.

“When we're thinking about an M high-performance electric car, you want to see the M characteristic,” said Häcker. “We know the feeling from the M2 and M3 CS, but also pure electric.”

A hot version of the current BMW i4 M50 featuring a version of BMW’s four-wheel drive xDrive system with an electric motor on each wheel has already been spied testing, which Häcker refers to saying, “We have also launched some ideas for that with four electric motors and a lot of functions.”

However, the behind-the-scenes work is much more advanced with Häcker revealing, “We are working on a central intelligence made by BMW and not made by the suppliers. We are working on electric motors, high voltage batteries and it's very important also on how we can emotionalise such a car.”

With even standard all-electric BMWs boasting impressive acceleration, Häcker’s team is working on other ways to give M electric cars unique sporting attributes.

“That is the biggest step because nowadays there's longitudinal acceleration that says the car is like a catapult – it works but it's not the difference. The difference is how the car handles, how it turns.

“These days we are often not the fastest one from zero to 100kph. But the transfer to cornering or the whole refinement and the emotion with upshifting, downshifting, with the sound, the whole package must be the reason to buy such a car. 

“With electric cars there is some playground – we think we can handle it well in the future. We don't see any solutions yet, but we see that other competitors are struggling a little bit with that. But we have some ideas we might use in petrol cars before we will use them for our first electric project.”

Some EV makers have engineered ‘gear shifts’ into their electric powertrains, so is that something M plans to do?

“It's possible but is it useful?” says Häcker. “It could be a point, but it could also be a point to differ the pedal characteristic depending on other factors.

The sound and vibration of an internal combustion engine is also a big factor with M cars, and that’s something M is also looking at for its all-electric models.

“We are working on ideas for that, but not only with sound but also with vibration in the car to feel a powerful powertrain. To feel like, I will not say a real vibration, but to feel like with a combustion engine, not that the power is dead.”

Are you excited about the possibility of electric BMW M cars? Let us know below...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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