2027 BMW M3 EV ‘Crazy’ quad-motor 4WD super-saloon

2027 BMW M3 EV ‘Crazy’ quad-motor 4WD super-saloon

New quad-motor BMW M3 to pack ‘crazy’ dynamics. Performance EV will harness new chassis tech to deliver unparalleled driving thrills.


BMW’S ELECTRIC M3: WHY IT’LL BE WILD

The ‘crazy’ driver’s car of the future — 1300bhp… from four electric motors


The long-mooted electric BMW M3, arriving in 2027, will use “crazy” chassis control software in an attempt to offer dynamic performance “far above” that of today’s hot BMWs. The electric M3 will be based on the firm’s Neue Klasse (NK) platform and will arrive shortly after the next-generation, electric BMW 3 Series – as previewed by a radical concept at the Munich motor show earlier this month.


2027 BMW M3 EV

BMW development boss Frank Weber has given some early details of the model. “The next M3 will be battery-electric – full battery-electric,” he said, but “there will be a coexistence” with the current petrol M3 for a period, “which is necessary”. The S58 six-cylinder engine used by today’s M3 is set to remain in production beyond 2030. Giving clues as to what to expect from an electric M3, Weber said BMW’s new ‘Heart of Joy’ control unit, which will be used in all NK-based cars, will be instrumental in providing a distinct driving character for BMW performance EVs and helping to mitigate any loss of character from the absence of a powerful petrol engine.

“This is a controller that has taken the last 20 or 30 years of our experience into a control unit. Everything that is driving performance-related, chassis control-related, propulsion- [and] powertrain-related is now in one integrated control unit,” he said. “It’s almost the history of how you control a vehicle that is in that thing.

“We do it ourselves. We don’t buy it. The software is proprietary. This is why we talk about it.

“We say: see, this will enable driving dynamics functions that you will love. Some of you have an interest in ‘the ultimate driving machine’: you will see functions in [the Heart of Joy] that are crazy.”

The Heart of Joy – a successor to the ‘Hand of God’ control unit that BMW first used in the i8 hybrid sports car – has been developed to support quad-motor drivetrains, with variable amounts of power delivered to each wheel as required. Weber said the unit can deploy up to one megawatt (1341bhp) of total power but stopped short of revealing a target for the electric M3.

“We want to come with something where we show that NK is already very ambitious, but this [performance model] is doing something far above what people are used to today,” said Weber.

“This will come not too far away from the initial launch of the NK as a product line, and we’ve said we want to have it early and close to the SOP [start of production] of the core model, because people want to have what M can do next also in the battery-electric world.

“We see this clearly from consumers. Some come to me and say: no, the M guys don’t want this. I say: no, be careful, because we do a lot of customer studies here. M customers want, simply, the best and highest performance you can get. “And the moment you get into a car that is one megawatt in performance and you can control every individual wheel, I can guarantee you there might be something wrong with the engine sound if they still miss this but not in how the car behaves. It’s incredible.”

Weber’s comments echo those of BMW M boss Frank van Meel, who told Autocar last year that, when revealing any electric performance car, he wants customers to say: “This is crazy. I didn’t see that coming.”

Van Meel said: “The story of the M3 is everlasting. Every time we change the story of the engine, from four-cylinder to six-cylinder to eight-cylinder to six-cylinder and a turbocharger, the story continues. Maybe it will go electric – but if it does, it will always be an M3.

“Whatever the powertrain, you should always be able to drive our cars and know they are M cars. We have stood the test of time for 50 years and will continue to do so.”

BMW sales boss Pieter Nota recently told Autocar that performance cars would remain a key component of the brand in the future. He said: “With Neue Klasse, we set benchmarks and we will also have high-performance versions of those cars which we now call an M3 or M4.”

But he added: “M is also going electric, which we see with the success of the i4 M50 and the i7 M70. So M remains at the core of the brands into the electric future. These M products have a great halo effect for the brand, which is aspirational.”

BMW has publicly shown images of a quad-motor M prototype

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