BMW M boss Frank van Meel says no BMW M electric car will use the letter “i” in its name.

    In an interview with Top Gear, Mr van Meel was quizzed about the idea of having a successor to the i8, and in particular if the “i” was coming back following a trademark filing for the iM3 that resurfaced again this week.

    “No, that will be a Mission Impossible! Actually, we would never use an i on an M, even though it would be electric,” he told Top Gear.

    “Because an M3 had a four-cylinder, six-cylinder, eight-cylinder engine; naturally aspirated, turbocharged ones. Now it’s even got an xDrive, but it always remained an M3.”

    “So if we would ever do something like that, it will always be called an M without an i. Because that’s just the technology, and M is not about technology.”

    “It’s about a promise, it’s about motorsports, it’s about emotion. It’s not about the drivetrain.”

    Mr van Meel said BMW’s M division has ruled out a hybrid or electric supercar for the time being but acknowledged it’s  “always dreaming about a car like that”.

    “It’s in our hearts, it’s in our minds. As car guys and car girls, we’re always thinking and trying out cars like that. But I cannot say yes to you,” he told Top Gear.

    BMW M has already confirmed its next M3 will be electric. The electric performance car is expected to be on BMW’s Neue Klasse vehicle platform and could feature a quad-motor powertrain capable of producing nearly 1000kW.

    Frank Weber, member of the board of management for BMW Group development, told media the electrified M3 “will not be too far away from the initial launch of Neue Klasse as a product line”.

    BMW Blog reports that first M car – the M3 – could arrive in 2027. Reportedly codenamed “ZA0”, it’s rumoured to be offered in both sedan and later wagon guises (ZA1).

    MORE: Everything BMW M3

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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