‘Crazy’ M3 on the cards

“The story of the M3 is everlasting,” said van Meel. “Every time we change the story of the engine, from four-cylinder to six-cylinder to eight-cylinder to six-cylinder and a turbocharger, the story continues.

“Maybe it will go electric – but if it does, it will always be an M3. Whatever the powertrain, you should always be able to drive our cars and know they are M cars. We have stood the test of time for 50 years and will continue to do so.”

Intriguingly, he added: “I would love to see electrified Ms in the future – hybrid and pure-electric, but if we bring them, they will be so groundbreaking that you will say: ‘This is crazy, I didn’t see that coming.’”

His comments suggest BMW bosses are not concerned about the appeal of its high-performance products waning as they go electric, Neither, it seems, are its customers. “We’ve just been talking to customers and the feedback is that 90-95% don’t care what direction we take on powertrain. They just want an M car. Yes, some say that if we don’t do V8s, they’re out but that’s okay: I respect that,” said van Meel.

The current M3 was launched in 2020 as a highly bespoke and far more potent take on the G20-generation 3 Series, which has just been updated and is expected to remain on sale until around 2025. Whether the M3’s life cycle will follow that timeline has yet to be confirmed, but van Meel’s hint at an electrified future for the super-saloon raises the possibility of a hot version of the radical new ‘NK1’ saloon due to arrive in 2025.


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