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BMW set to announce electric M plans

M FiVE: Stand by for a full-electric version of the next-generation M5 super-sedan when it arrives in 2024, with an announcement from global M boss Markus Flasch now possible within weeks.

Next M5 set for full-electric and plug-in hybrid options as BMW M readies first EVs

6 Aug 2020

BMW has revealed that official confirmation of the first electrified models from its high-performance M division could be a matter of weeks away.


Speaking to international media this week about the German prestige car-maker’s plans for electrification, BMW i and electromobility spokesperson Wieland Bruch revealed that an announcement concerning electrified M cars could be expected “in the next weeks or next few months” from BMW M GmbH chief executive Markus Flasch.


“Definitely there are plans to electrify all the BMW Group brands, so be it BMW motorcycle, Mini and Rolls-Royce and also BMW M,” he said.


“I’m not in a position to release the plans of BMW M when it comes to electrification – that should be a prominent job for their CEO.


“Expect something in the next weeks or next few months from Mr Flasch.


“For sure, he has plans for electrification and it will be an exciting story to follow.”


While BMW is preparing to reveal the all-new G80 M3 sedan and G82 M4 coupe in September, GoAuto understands that the electrification announcement will centre on the forthcoming seventh-generation ‘G60’ M5 super-sedan due here in 2024. 


The next M5 is expected to become the first full-electric M car and is also set to offer a monster plug-in hybrid V8 powertrain option.


The PHEV has been linked with BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and is reportedly already locked in for an M version of BMW’s X8 flagship SUV, which could be on sale in a couple of years.


Engine details for the looming M3/M4 were last month confirmed as being a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol engine, good for 353-375kW of power and up to 650Nm of torque. 


This does not rule out the possibility of electrification becoming available on the smaller range during their lifecycle, but for now the M3 and M4 look to be among the last of their kind for the M division as traditional combustion engines give way to EV and PHEV powertrains.  


So all eyes are on M5, a model that has long been the flagbearer for BMW M’s technological and performance prowess, and which in its current F90 generation is now halfway through its lifecycle – a point hammered home by the impending arrival of the facelifted Competition variant due here in October.


Ever since the third-generation E39 emerged in 1998, the M5 has been updated in six-year lifecycles, with each new version released the year after the outgoing model leaves the market.


This then points to the next-generation M5 being set for a 2023 debut overseas, neatly in line with BMW’s goal of offering 25 electrified vehicles by that same year.


In the meantime, all BMW models – including the M cars – are set to be fitted with a new 48V mild-hybrid system as part of a brand-wide rollout, with two thirds of the range set be fitted with the system by the end of next year.


“All engines are part of the rollout plan for 48V technology, be it a four-cylinder, six-cylinder or eight-cylinder engine,” Mr Bruch said.


“When we speak about electrified vehicles and all the forecast numbers, this does not include 48V technology, we only count plug-in hybrids and full-electric cars.”


BMW recently revealed that a full-electric version of its current 5 Series was also in the pipeline, and will be sold alongside the existing combustion-engine variants, plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids as part of its ‘Power of Choice’ strategy.

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