German automaker BMW has filed trademark applications for the name “iM3” at the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, signaling a potential electric future for its iconic M3 model.
While enthusiasts may question the decision to introduce a new name for an electric version of the M3, BMW suggests that the move is driven by a strategy to maintain coexistence between electric and combustion-powered M3 models in different markets. Frank Weber, BMW's chief of product development, emphasized the necessity of such coexistence in response to evolving market demands and legislative changes. BMW M boss Frank van Meel echoed similar sentiments.
The coexistence strategy aims to address varying regulatory landscapes globally, where certain markets require electric alternatives while others still permit combustion-powered vehicles. This approach avoids potential confusion arising from offering both electric and combustion models with the same M3 designation in specific regions.
The trademark filing, however, does not provide a timeline for the introduction of the iM3. BMW has reiterated its commitment to producing an electric M3 only if it surpasses the performance of its current combustion counterpart. Notably, BMW aims to leverage advanced technology, including precise torque vectoring with a patented electric differential, to address challenges associated with the increased weight of electric vehicles and ensure a driving experience consistent with traditional M car standards.
Anticipating an electric M3 with four-figure horsepower outputs, BMW remains focused on delivering a driving experience that aligns with the dynamic characteristics of its conventional M models. The automaker's success in maintaining driving performance with the G80 M3, despite its substantial weight, provides optimism for achieving a similar feat with the eventual iM3 release.