Technology: BMW M models are becoming electric: high current

BMW M boss Frank van Meel can currently be more than satisfied, because he has left the competitors from Affalterbach and Neckarsulm behind with his sporty models and he is also promising a sales record for the current year, while Audi Sport and Mercedes-AMG fall short of expectations.

Technology: BMW M models are becoming electric: high current

BMW M boss Frank van Meel can currently be more than satisfied, because he has left the competitors from Affalterbach and Neckarsulm behind with his sporty models and he is also promising a sales record for the current year, while Audi Sport and Mercedes-AMG fall short of expectations. Even though many people complain about the flashy BMW XM power SUV, it is in great demand. The BMW XM is the first real M model with a plug, because otherwise the powerful vehicles from Garching currently only run on combustion power. However, this will gradually change in the coming years.

BMW is currently introducing the new top model of its 7 Series luxury sedan and the most powerful variant is no longer powered by a V12 turbo, but by two electric motors on the front and rear axles. With an output of 485 kW / 660 HP and 1,100 Nm, the BMW i7 M70 xDrive is not a real M7, because it lacks a few kilowatts on the axles and, in particular, an impressive top speed that is well above the limited 250 km/h lies. The BMW i7 M70 is therefore an M-Performance variant that is also available in models such as the M340d or M550i. This also applies to the purely electrically powered BMW i4 M50 xDrive with its impressive 400 kW / 544 hp or the 397 kW / 540 hp BMW iX M60 as particularly sporty electric models from Bavaria.

In the coming years, the proportion of electrified M vehicles is expected to increase. Currently, more than 80 percent of M vehicles have a combustion engine, a small proportion are the plug-in hybrid versions of the XM and then the new BMW i7 M70 is the third battery-electric M vehicle after the iX M60 and i4 M50. In the next step, further plug-in hybrids will follow. The best example of this is the upcoming BMW M5, which is expected to celebrate its premiere next summer and roll out to the first customers at the end of 2024. The basic drive, similar to the current BMW XM, is a 4.4 liter V8 twin turbo, which is supported by a powerful electric motor. The direction in which the performance will drift can also be seen from the BMW / 748 hp and a maximum torque of a massive 1,000 Nm. From a standstill, the all-wheel drive colossus, which weighs more than 2.5 tons, reaches 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and, if specifically requested, the vehicle only locks electronically at 290 km/h.

The upcoming BMW M5 will also be in a similar performance class - like the current variant, it will be an all-wheel drive vehicle. The situation is no different with the other electric models that come out. Because the new BMW i5 M60 xDrive is also a purely electric version, whose electric motors with 442 kW / 601 hp smell like the M5, but are not suitable for a disappointing top speed of 230 km/h. The 660 hp BMW i7 M70 can drive at a speed of 250 km/h before the anchor is dropped electronically.

BMW is prouder than ever of its current M3 / M4, which is also being offered for the first time as an M3 Touring station wagon version with 510 hp all-wheel drive. The new generation of the BMW 3 Series will celebrate its premiere in two years and will be the first vehicle in the so-called “new class”, whose platform will be followed by a number of other electric models by 2027. The upcoming BMW M3 / M4 will be launched purely electrically when it launches at the end of 2026. But that hardly means the end for the current M3 / M4 generation, because the combustion engine models, powered by the three-liter S58 in-line six-cylinder, will remain in the range until at least 2030. The plan is to increase performance beyond the current 375 kEW / 510 HP and further technical upgrades, which the new Euro7 emissions standard may make necessary. According to Frank Van Meel, at the end of the decade only a few M models will be powered by the combustion engine alone. The majority will be purely electric and so an electric BMW i5 M above the i5 M60 only seems a matter of time. Maybe even as a station wagon.

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