BMW M working on a four-engine EV prototype that wears the face of the M3


After the seemingly endless celebrations of the 50th anniversary of BMW M, the Bavarian brand’s performance division has announced the start of testing prototypes with all-electric motors. These are based on the BMW i4 M50 but come with four-wheel electric motors, a new drive dynamics control system, and a modified chassis setup.

While BMW’s electric performance models, including the i4 M50 and iX M60, have already seen the light of day, with the i7 M70 set to continue in 2023, we’re not yet able to see the full M EV. This will change in the future, as BMW M does its best to prepare for the era of all-electric cars, with the goal of maintaining an “emotional driving experience” in the zero-emission sports cars of the future.

The first concept car to develop “innovative ride and chassis control systems” is based on the BMW i4 M50. However, it brings some unique features. Starting with the exterior design, the prototype gets a face transplant from the ICE-powered M3/M4, a wider chassis and a proprietary panel. Surprisingly, the massive grille and bumper intakes remain exposed, possibly helping to cool the powertrain and other mechanical components. The interior of the prototype has also been modified, using scaling technology making it look like a “rolling test lab”.

Read also: BMW hasn’t completely abandoned the idea of ​​a branded M . supercar

The most significant changes are hidden under the body. BMW M has added a four-wheel drive electric powertrain with an integrated drive dynamics control system. Thus, in the new, fully variable all-wheel drive system M xDrive, each wheel is independently controlled by a center console based on a number of calculations. The suspension has been modified as well, with front struts sourced from M3/M4 providing higher torsional rigidity.

The automaker hasn’t revealed the combined power output of the i4 four-engine prototype, but we’re expecting some impressive numbers as they talk about an “unprecedented level of performance.” In the official video, we can see the car in action as a tank in the form of a donut, although this part appears to have been created with the help of CGI. As a reminder, the standard i4 M50 also pictured in the video has twin electric motors producing 536 hp (400 kW/544 hp) and 586 pound-feet (795 Nm) of torque. For range, restoring power from all four motors while braking will return some juice to the high voltage battery.

BMW claims that “thanks to the particularly sensitive dose of engine torque and shifting without perceptible latency, higher cornering speeds can be achieved, even on wet or snow-covered roads.” In this context, Dirk Häcker, Head of Development at BMW M GmbH, said: “Electrification opens entirely new degrees of freedom for us to create typical M dynamics. And we can already see that we can exploit this potential to the fullest, so that our high-performance sports cars continue to Delivering the unparalleled M-typical blend of dynamics, agility and precision in an emission-free future domestically.”

We don’t know if the four-engine BMW i4 M50 will lead to a production model, but the technology it showcases will likely find its way into BMW M models. Keep in mind that the automaker will soon launch a production version of the XM as the new flagship, which comes with a range of V8-based hybrid transmission.

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