BMW hasn’t decided whether the next M3, M4 will be electric – Autoblog


All hope isn’t lost for enthusiasts who prefer the BMW M3 with a sonorous straight-six engine under the hood. Although the sport sedan was supposed to switch to electric power near the end of the 2020s, the German firm hasn’t ruled out designing a new gasoline-powered model.

“Well, the logic is quite easy. The next [M3] or [M4] has to be better than the current one. And if that can be done in an electric way, then it will probably go electric. If not, we will stay with combustion engine. It’s quite easy,” BMW M boss Frank van Meel told Australia’s Drive.

Some parameters are fairly straight-forward to improve. The current-generation M3 uses a 3.0-liter straight-six that’s twin-turbocharged to 473 horsepower in its standard configuration. If its successor lands with 500 horsepower, it’ll tick the “better” box — on paper, at least.

However, straight-line speed and horsepower aren’t the only appealing ingredients in the M3 recipe, and handling has helped make the model a force to reckon with on and off the track for decades. This is where making an electric M3 that’s better than the current car gets tricky, as batteries add a tremendous amount of weight. BMW M has tested electric prototypes for years, but as of writing it hasn’t unveiled a full-blown electric M car. M-branded models, like the i4 M50 and the iX M60, are positioned a notch below cars like the M3 and the X5 M.

“Of course, we’re trying to make [the next M3] happen as pure electric,” clarified van Meel.

What’s seemingly certain, at least at this stage, is that the next-generation M3 won’t be available with multiple powertrain types.

“I don’t think all three [options]. That will be a little bit too far. Actually, we would like to offer just one, but you never know,” van Meel replied when Drive asked about the possibility of seeing gasoline-burning, battery-powered, and plug-in hybrid variants of the next M3 and M4.

BMW’s next-generation M3 and M4 likely won’t arrive until 2027 at the earliest, so the brand still has time to decided which drivetrain to use.

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