In a recent roundtable discussion with journalists in Portugal at the global launch of the BMW i5, Frank Weber, the head of product development at BMW, confirmed that the next-generation BMW M3 high-performance sedan will mark a historic shift as it becomes available as an all-electric vehicle in 2027. This announcement signifies a significant move for the renowned automaker, as it embraces electrification while maintaining its iconic M3 brand.
Weber stated, “The next M3 will be battery-electric, fully battery-electric.” Notably, BMW will not be abandoning its roots entirely, as the upcoming super-sedan will also be offered as a combustion engine model featuring a modified version of the current 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo gasoline engine, known as the S58.
“We will certainly make this Euro 7-capable and other things, so it's going to happen,” Weber emphasized, referring to the commitment to environmental standards for the combustion engine variant. He further clarified that BMW aims to ensure the coexistence of both electric and internal combustion engine solutions in the market, recognizing the need for such diversity.
While the specific platform for the next-generation M3 has not been officially confirmed by BMW, it is expected to be based on the company's Neue Klasse platform, which was recently previewed by the Vision Neue Klasse Concept. This platform aligns with BMW's forward-looking approach to vehicle architecture.
Regarding the electric powertrain's capabilities, Weber did not provide specific power output figures but mentioned that the new platform was designed to accommodate four electric motors and could potentially deliver up to one megawatt of power. Notably, BMW is exploring the possibility of allowing drivers to fine-tune power delivery between the front and rear axles, offering a dynamic driving experience similar to current ICE-powered BMW M models. This adaptability could allow the transition from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive at the flick of a switch.
BMW had previously hinted at the potential of a 1 MW-capable electric vehicle with a modified i4 M50 prototype, featuring four electric motors. They even showcased a computer-generated video demonstrating the vehicle's agility, including a “tank turn” maneuver, made possible by independently controlled motors.
This decision to introduce an all-electric M3 follows BMW's broader strategy outlined by Frank van Meel, BMW M's boss, who stated that the brand anticipates selling more battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) than pure combustion models starting in 2028.