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BMW iM3 trademark hints at name for 'crazy' electric M3

Weber’s sentiments 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.”

97 Bmw m3 competition 2022 engine bay

“The story of the M3 is everlasting,” said van Meel. “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.”

His comments suggest BMW bosses are not concerned about the appeal of its high-performance products waning as they go electric, Neither, it seems, are its customers. “We’ve just been talking to customers and the feedback is that 90-95% don’t care what direction we take on powertrain. They just want an M car. Yes, some say that if we don’t do V8s, they’re out but that’s okay: I respect that,” said van Meel.

Intriguingly, BMW sales boss Pieter Nota, speaking to Autocar at the Munich motor show recently, hinted that electric M cars may not use the same names as today’s petrol equivalents: “With Neue Klasse, we set benchmarks and we will certainly also have high-performance versions of those cars which we now call an M3 or M4. 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.”

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