How will BMW M stir something thrilling into the EV era?

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BMW M’s lineup is more diverse and attractive than ever before, and intrigue surrounds its plans for hot EVs.

As BMW details a bold plan to sell two million EVs by 2025 and for EVs to account for 50 per cent of its global sales just five years later, we must reconcile ourselves with the notion that the snarling, popping, rev-hungry M car is an endangered breed.

We’ve already had our first taste of how M’s engineers will set about heating up pure-electric cars, courtesy of the warm i4 M50, and that its first plug-in hybrid, the XM, is also its most powerful model yet should provide some reassurance that potency and pace won’t fall by the wayside in the great pursuit of reduced emissions.

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Questions remain over just how effectively differentiated M-badged EVs will be from their garden variety counterparts – it would take a true expert to discern the standard iX from the upcoming iX M60 range-topper – but for the next few years, BMW M GmbH’s propensity for variety will continue to capture the imagination of performance car fans around the world.

Has any brand shown such awareness of what enthusiasts want in recent years? We’ve been waiting decades for a BMW M3 wagon, for example, and there could surely be no better antidote for EV anathema than the puristic M2 sports coupe and rip-snorting BMW M4 CSL.

And even if you’re no huge fan of the XM’s, er, divisive styling, you must surely feel stirred by the potential of its electrically boosted V8, which will become available in more conventionally styled cars down the line.

M has yet to set an all-out electrification deadline, but whichever way you cut it, BMW’s new petrol-burning performance cars will be the last of their kind, so there is an element of ‘enjoy them while you can’ at play. But as long as M division’s engineers can instil some of their trademark flair in the all-electric follow-ups, there’s no need to be alarmed.

Felix Page

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