An electric M car is a matter of when rather than if, but that “when” isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Why? Because BMW is still working on a high-performance EV that will only be released when it is good enough to beat the M3. In an extended interview with Australian magazine CarExpert, M CEO Frank van Meel explained why it’s taking this long and the connection to racing.

“If you look at the M3 Touring, or the M3, these are the benchmark right now, which actually is our own benchmark as well in regards to the next generation. So if that is electric, it has to be better than the current one. So that’s the reason why it’s not there yet. But we’re working on that.”

Interestingly, Frank van Meel revealed BMW M is collaborating with motorsport regulators to come up with a suitable solution for a purely electric GT race car. He went on to say work has already started on what will be the brand’s first track-only EV, which is being developed together with a zero-emission M road car. Currently, BMW M Motorsport has the M2 CS Racing, M4 GT4, M4 GT3, and the M Hybrid V8.


There are several requirements an electric M car will have to meet before getting the green light for production. It’ll have to deliver power sustainably rather than providing its peak output only for a few seconds. In addition, it must complete a couple of laps of the Nordschleife at full tilt and still have a decent range after that. The first electric M road car will be an M3-like sedan on the Neue Klasse platform. It’s reportedly due in 2027 with the “ZA0” internal codename and an estimated 700 horsepower.

Meanwhile, BMW M has several electric M Performance road-going models currently on sale today: i4 M50, i5 M60, iX M60, and the i7 M70. Next year, the lineup will expand with the launch of an i5 M60 Touring. Concomitantly, the plug-in hybrid XM will be joined by the M5 Sedan and M5 Touring with the same electrified V8 powertrain.

In 2022 and the first half of 2023, the i4 M50 was the best-selling product from the M division.

Note: 2019 BMW Vision M Next concept pictured

Source: CarExpert