BMW's announcement about coming out with an electrified M car later this year is hiding in plain sight in the press release about the M division's great sales results in 2020. It's a disclosure some of us saw coming considering the Bavarians indirectly shared the news last December. In a marketing film shot in the fictional "M Town," the one-off E92 M3 pickup makes a brief appearance with a side decal saying "26 2021."
That was likely a subtle hint at the date when the car will be officially presented – week 26 of 2021. In other words, the wraps should come off at any point between June 28 and July 4. The new press release doesn't reveal the car's identity, with BMW only saying "M GmbH will be presenting an electrically powered performance automobile for the first time."
It's unclear at this point whether we're dealing with a pure EV or a hybrid, with some saying it'll be an M-branded version of the i4 while others claim BMW will introduce an X8 M plug-in hybrid. Whatever shape it will take, the electrified M car will be joined by the M4 Convertible "in time for the warm season," according to the same press release. We will have to wait a bit more for the hotly anticipated M3 Touring as BMW says the performance wagon is still being developed.
Meanwhile, the M5 CS is debuting in the coming days as the king-of-the-hill 5 Series with more power and less weight. Interestingly, BMW also pledges all M models equipped with a manual gearbox will be complemented by automatic-only Competition versions going forward. The two-pedal setup the company is referring to is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, supplied by ZF. It means the next M2 Competition will lose the DCT.
The final tidbit shared by BMW is the M3 and M4 models will get the xDrive AWD system this summer, a first for the dynamic duo. Fast forward to 2022, M head honcho Markus Flasch says it will be "a year full of surprises" as the M division will be marking half a century of existence.