It’s been almost three years since BMW introduced the current-generation M3 and yet the M division’s boss is willing to talk about what will come after the G80. That’s not to say a successor is due anytime soon since the super sedan is expected to remain in production until mid-2027 or so. At the moment of writing, a final decision hasn’t been taken about whether the replacement will still have a combustion engine or not.

Speaking with Australia’s Drive magazine, Frank van Meel said the first order of business is to make sure the next-gen M3 will be better than the current one. If the engineers will be able to achieve that without an ICE, then yes, the sports saloon will morph into a fully electric model. If not, it’ll keep the gas engine. However, the M boss was crystal clear: “But of course, we’re trying to make that happen [to have a better car than the G80] as pure electric.

When asked about the prospects of selling an M3 with multiple powertrain choices (gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and electric), the M CEO’s answer left room for interpretation: “Well, I don’t think all three [options]. That will be a little bit too far. Actually, we would like to offer just one. But you never know.”

We should point out BMW has already ruled out launching a next-gen M car with a pure gasoline engine, so presuming the ICE will stay, any future M3 would have to be a hybrid. All future M cars (excluding derivatives of current-gen models) will be electrified to some extent. Why? Because emissions regulations are getting stricter, especially in the European Union. With the Euro 7 standard coming into effect in 2025, automakers are pursuing their hybrid and electric agendas.

Frank van Meel’s tone during the interview suggests the M division wants to skip the hybrid and head straight to full EV for the next M3. Testing of a quad-motor prototype has already commenced, and since a replacement for the G80 is still several years away, the engineers could have enough time to develop an M3 EV.

Based on our internal sources, BMW does intend to sell at least one more generation of the 3 Series will combustion engines. The regular sedan has reportedly been assigned the G50 codename while the Touring is the G51. There were conversations around a new BMW M3/M4 codename G84, but apparently that plug-in hybrid drivetrain idea was scrapped.

Source: Drive