One of the saddest chapters in BMW’s recent history is the ill-fated M Vision Next. The mid-engine supercar took enthusiasts by surprise in 2019. Earlier this year, we learned a production version had been planned under the “I16” internal codename. However, the road-going car was ultimately canceled in 2020.

The concept is being brought back into the limelight, albeit only briefly. BMW design boss Domagoj Dukec unearthed the performance vehicle for players of the FC Bayern München basketball team to check out. It was an eventful day as the players then took delivery of an iX electric SUV fleet. The deal is part of a mobility partnership signed last year between BMW Munich and FC Bayern München Basketball GmbH.

The striking M Vision Next / I16 was supposed to be a spiritual successor to the M1. Instead, BMW gave us the XM, a large and heavy SUV controversially touted as a dedicated M model. The sleek supercar had a small four-cylinder gasoline engine but with an electric twist. It was envisioned with a plug-in hybrid setup making nearly 600 horsepower. The combustion engine drove the rear wheels while the electric motor powered the front axle. This setup gave the M Vision Next selectable rear- and all-wheel drive.

Despite its low-displacement ICE, it was still plenty quick and fast. The sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) took only three seconds en route to a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h). The low-slung, wedge-shaped sports car had an unspecified battery pack with enough juice for 62 miles (100 kilometers) of electric range. BMW gave it staggered wheels, measuring 22 inches at the back and 21 inches in the front. As a nod to the M1, the two roundels and rear window shape took after the iconic E26.

Hopefully, there’s still time for a flagship BMW performance vehicle with a combustion engine before EVs completely take over. Ideally, something with more than just four cylinders, but we’d be happy even with a downsized ICE.

Source: Domagoj Dukec / Instagram