BMW has already confirmed an all-electric M3 is in the works on the forthcoming Neue Klasse architecture, and its name now appears to have been confirmed.

    As reported by CarBuzz, the German marque has submitted a patent with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for the name iM3.

    According to the patent, BMW has patented the name iM3 to be used as a vehicle, as well as for sporting goods and equipment.

    At this stage BMW hasn’t officially confirmed it plans to call the forthcoming electric M3 the iM3, though this European patent is our closest look yet.

    There is precedent for the German carmaker to use this name however as it currently puts an ‘i’ at the start of the name of its all-electric vehicles that are based on combustion car. These include the iX1, iX2, iX3, i4, i5, and i7.

    As recently reported, Frank Weber, member of the board of management for BMW Group member of the board of management said the Neue Klasse platform will spawn an all-electric M3.

    It will likely come with a wild quad-motor electric drivetrain with nearly 1000kW of power.

    “We definitely need [a] halo,” said Mr Weber to CarExpert earlier this year.

    “The Neue Klasse [platform] will be a lot of [halos] because it has so much newness in it, combined in a way that we never did before – from technical capabilities to design language… I call it ‘all, all-new’.

    “This will be the best year for [BMW] M, ever. What is M for BMW? M is our ability to take something that is already quite good as a product, and make it even better.

    “What is clear with Neue Klasse, the thing of enhancing or having a lighthouse project that stands for the new capabilities of a new generation is really crucial.

    “Therefore, the next M3 will be battery electric, fully battery electric. And, the Heart of Joy (the all-new Neue Klasse control unit) was designed for four independently operating electric machines up to 1 megawatt (1MW/1000kW).”

    “We want to come with something where we show Neue Klasse is already very ambitious, but this is far above what people are used to today. This will come with [the] M3 and will not be too far away from the initial launch of Neue Klasse as a product line.”

    Last year BMW previewed its upcoming quad-motor electric drivetrain with a prototype based on the existing dual-motor i4 M50. The company never detailed outputs nor target performance figures, though Mr Weber has previously said the Neue Klasse platform offers the capacity for a 1MW performance EV.

    Currently, the most powerful BMW EV is the i7 M70 xDrive, which is powered by a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup producing 485kW and 1100Nm.

    Mr Weber also hinted that both the petrol-fired M3 and an all-electric alternative could co-exist in the brand’s portfolio, given the current model’s ‘S58’ 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six has only been around since the X3 M and X4 M launched in 2019.

    The next-generation BMW 3 Series isn’t expected to hit the market until 2027, meaning the current G20 generation will be almost a decade old by the time it’s replaced.

    Recent posts published to the Bimmerpost online forum claim the existing 3 Series will receive more running changes in 2024 or 2025 ahead of an all-new model in 2027. Before then, BMW is set to introduce a 3 Series-sized EV on its Neue Klasse architecture in 2025.

    The forum post mentions an NA0/NA1 BMW i3 due to commence production in November 2026 in Germany, while the next-generation G50/G51 3 Series will be slightly later to production from July 2027, which suggests BMW will lead the next-gen 3er line-up with an all-electric version first, with combustion-powered models to follow after.

    Given M models normally debut a year or so after their more mainstream equivalents, an all-electric M3 probably won’t surface until 2027 or 2028 at the earliest.

    MORE: Everything BMW M3
    MORE: Next BMW M3 will be a quad-motor all-electric Bahnstormer

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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