BMW M, the German automaker’s motorsport division, has announced that it’s developing its first battery-electric car based on the upcoming i4 EV. According to CarAdvice, BMW M CEO Markus Flasch has made the revelation during a press event for Australian media, where he also said that the car will be unveiled next year and will fall under the company’s “performance segment.”
“Next year we will launch the first battery-electric M car in the performance segment, based on the i4, as something to confirm. Then we’re working on hybrid electrified performance and high-performance cars, but it is too early to disclose which ones it is going to be.”
As CarAdvice noted, it likely means that the vehicle will be sportier than the standard i4 but won’t be able to match the division’s “high-performance” models, such as the BMW M3 and M4. Flasch explained that current battery technologies still don’t have the capability to power its high-performance cars and that it will take more time to design one that can. The company still has to figure out a few more things to be able to develop a full-blown M EV, as well: “[T]he biggest question to answer is,” he said, “how to handle weight of a battery electric car and still offer M-specific, or M-style, dynamics.”
The CEO didn’t have a lot of details to share about the car, but if it’s a sportier i4, then we can probably expect better specs than the standard version. BMW previously revealed that the i4 will have a 390 kW motor that can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in about four seconds. It will have a max speed of 124 miles per hour and an 80 kWh battery that will give it the capability to run for approximately 373 miles on a single charge. The standard i4 is expected to be available in 2022, which means you may have to wait more than a couple of years before the M version comes out.