It was only a matter of time before performance divisions of brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW had to start making electric cars and the first of these are now set to arrive soon this year. BMW has officially confirmed that an M-badged electric performance car will be unveiled later this year. The carmaker says it will bring a “completely new manifestation of the distinctive M feeling”. BMW confirmed the development of an electric M model in its release detailing the M brand's sales performance for 2020.
Although there is no confirmation as to which electric model will see an M derivative, but reports suggest it could be an M-badged variant of the upcoming BMW i4 electric sedan. BMW first M-badged electric performance car will likely be a an ‘M-lite’ model, much like the current M340i, and not a full-fledged M model like the M3 or the M4. BMW is expected to debut the standard i4 in final production form in the coming months, with the i4 M likely to follow towards the end of the year. BMW's first electric M car will be squarely aimed at the Tesla Model 3, as the carmaker had confirmed back in 2019.
At the time, BMW had said that the electric performance car would be available with a 530hp powertrain, enough for a 0-100kph sprint of around 4.0 seconds and a top-speed (most likely limited) of 201 kph. BMW had also promised a range of more than 595km. These numbers put it perfectly in contention with the Model 3 in its Long Range guise. The Tesla Model 3 is however a little less powerful at 490hp with its Performance variant, but still has a faster 0-100 kph sprint time of 3.1 seconds. That however leaves space for a full-fat M version of the i4 in the future.
An M version of the electric iX SUV will also be on the cards following the i4 M. BMW is yet to confirm the details of the same but you could expect similar performance and range, if it materializes. Incidentally, in 2020, BMW actually managed to record a 6% growth in the sales of their M performance cars and that's despite the global pandemic. BMW attributes this strong performance to a mix of M performance variants of cars such as the 3 Series and 4 Series and also the latest X5 M SUV and the bonkers M2 CS coupé.
Back here in India, BMW has a few M cars coming up here as well. The all-new BMW M4, which was revealed last year, is expected to launch in India later this year. M performance derivatives of the 3 Series and the X3 are also on the cards for India. BMW kick started 2020 with the launch of the 2 Series Gran Coupe petrol and the 3 Series Gran Limousine in India. Going ahead, there will be facelifted versions of the 55-Series and 6 Series GT making it to India this year as well.