Are Electric Versions of BMW M Models on the Way?
Clearly, BMW is leading the pack on the development of innovative electric vehicles while building a sporty image for eco-friendly cars. Due to the success of the BMW i3 and i8 released last year, many are looking to the automaker to release a wider selection of electric vehicles–specifically electric versions of the brand’s M performance models.
To clear up the uncertainty surrounding the future of BMW’s electric products, CarAdvice spoke with a BMW M representative at BMW X6 M launch in Detroit, asking directly what is planned for BMW’s M division.
Electric Versions of BMW M Models Still Years Down the Road
According to BMW M division’s head of product management, Carsten Pries, the automaker is still deciding if electric cars are a trend, due to their overall small sales numbers, or if the majority of customers will eventually be buying them. Because of that uncertainty, electrified BMW M models are “still a few years down the road.” Currently, developing electric M models aren’t a viable business investment, and BMW wants a “clear focus with products in our lineup that have the highest relevance”.
Pries made an interesting observation about the current state of electric vehicles: consumers purchasing EVs these days are only doing it to stand out from the crowd, and it will take time until EVs will be relevant to the majority of car buyers.
As far as seeing an M-badged i8 in the future, Pries said it’s unlikely. The vehicle did a good job illustrating the brand’s conception of sports cars in the future and will have success on its own with the M division. “Would it make sense to build an M version of an ‘i’ car? The design approach my BMW i colleagues are taking, I personally think it would dilute the profile of i models if you started to mix it with M.”
However, the M division might create its own unique electric car instead. “Would we like to do something else stand alone? You can wake up every one of the 550 employees [of M division] and they will tell you ‘yes’…Whether it’s commercially viable or sensible, that’s a different question.”
What do you think? Is BMW missing out on a profitable business opportunity by waiting to make electric M models, or is the EV market truly that uncertain?
News Source: Car Advice