Over the past week, BMW’s M division has hinted at substantial changes coming to their lineup over the next few years. Let’s dig in and take a look at all the recent M-related news.
First, as BMW M CEO Frank van Meel discussed in an interview with Car Throttle, base-model Ms will be phased out in favor of a standard Competition package. 40 is the new 30, and Competition is the new base. “We’re not going to split any longer between M and M Competition, it will all be Competition in the future,” van Meel says.
With that in mind, as reported by Car Expert, there will be five new M-flavored BMWs introduced in 2024. At a recent down-under launch of the i5 M60 and i7 M70, Frank van Meel announced the 2024 M3 and M4 will receive LCI updates, the M4 will receive the “CS” treatment following suit to the M3 CS, and the new M5 sedan and wagon—hurray wagons!—will also be coming next year.
Nothing earth shattering so far, right? Well, here comes the other shoe. As BMW has been saying since 2018 (and likely even before that), electric M cars are coming. As reported by Autocar, BMW Head of Development Frank Weber confirmed a forthcoming electric M3 is on the horizon and it will be based on the recently announced Neue Klasse platform. Weber says, “The next M3 will be fully battery-electric,” but then went on to say that “there will be coexistence” with the gas-burning six-cylinder under the current M3’s hood. Autocar reports, “The S58 six-cylinder engine used by today’s M3 is scheduled to remain in production beyond 2030.”
Coexistence between ICE and fully-electric M3s? How will we tell the difference? When speaking to Autocar at the Munich Motor Show, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Customer, Brands, Sales Pieter Nota said, “With Neue Klasse, we set benchmarks and we will certainly also have high-performance versions of those cars which we now call an M3 or M4.” Perhaps the next M3 will be an eM3—pronounced phonetically of course.
That brings us up to speed on the recent happenings with BMW’s in-house performance division, the place the churns out exhilarating machines that make you go “Mmmmmmm.” —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]