Performance Cars

BMW's M division will get plug-in hybrid first, full EV after 2025

The plug-in hybrid M should have around 600 horsepower.

BMW M
BMW

As BMW works to electrify more and more of its products, we can't help but wonder how this will affect the company's M performance arm. The Vision M Next Concept, which debuted Tuesday, gives a conceptual glimpse at what's possible. But the reality is, a fully electric M car is still many years away.

"Beyond 2025, there will be also possibly M BEVs," Klaus Fröhlich, BMW's head of engineering, said in an interview Tuesday. Rather than a full EV, "a power PHEV is next for M."

Fröhlich says an M-branded plug-in hybrid would likely weigh between 3,500 and 3,800 pounds, and would have around 600 horsepower. For reference, the current M5 sedan has 600 horsepower, but weighs 4,370 pounds.

"Weight is key," Fröhlich said.

A fully electric M would no doubt be much heavier, simply because of the added weight of the batteries needed to achieve M-tastic performance. The company's EV development car, called "Lucy" internally, makes 720 horsepower, but also weighs 5,300 pounds.

"M is not about longitudinal acceleration only," Fröhlich said. Lighter weight makes for better handling, and that's a key component to every M car.