Bimmer Today got the chance to ask BMW M boss Frank van Meel a bunch of questions about what the M brand is doing and how M is changing. The biggest takeway for the purist set is that the 2023 M2 will be the last M with a non-electrified powertrain. The translated quote is, "We will see increasing electrification in other vehicles, of course in different forms, starting with the 48-volt electrical system and plug-in hybrids to fully electric drives. From this point of view, the M2 will be the last M with a pure combustion engine drive and also without electrification scope such as a 48-volt on-board network, yes." No electric motor hidden anywhere, no supplemental battery. For whom does the bell toll? For the tribe complaining non-stop about the M3 ever since the second-generation M3, and who came close to aneurysm with the release of the X5 M.
From here out, it's a slow, steady drive "in the direction of e-mobility," which has M focused on the chance "to be able to offer fully electric high-performance vehicles at some point."
Bimmer Today started the discussion with a leak of the coming M2. WilcoBlock, the Instagrammer who acts like a magnet for spy photos, posted a photo of the undisguised rear quarters of the new M taken during a photo shoot. The Instagram post has been taken down, but you can still see the photo. It's a lot of chonky going on back there.
At the other end of M, Bimmer Today asked about the XM — the large, heavy, electrified beast of family burden. BT asked why the company is celebrating 50 years in business with an SUV counterpart to the M1 — the M1 standing for everything that SUVs aren't. Van Meel explained that sports cars were the glamorous and profitable segment to play in the M1's era, whereas that segment is filled with SUVs now. As for its design, which will show in production form later this year, van Meel said there's big demand for "an extremely strong, extremely extroverted model at top of M lineup," and the XM provides just that.
Head over to Bimmer Today (translated) for the whole interview for van Meel's explanation of how M plans to maintain its core philosophy in the age of electrification.
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