Anything's possible these days.
There was a time when BMW was adamant that its famed M and newborn i divisions would always remain separate. But that was then, and circumstances change. Speaking in Australia for the launch of the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid sedan, Alexander Kotouc, head of product management for BMW, told CarAdvice that it’s possible one day the two single letter sub-brands could merge. “If you look at the plug-in hybrids, most of the cars we sell have the M Sport package,” he explained.
“People are willing to go into a car that is part-electric, but still want the looks and feel of an M Sports package. If we built something like a high-performance car or a super sports electric car, why shouldn’t it be something like an ‘iM’ car?” Also worth noting is that BMW’s already existing iPerformance models pack quite a punch, especially in straight-line performance. Point being is that BMW is already combining its famed performance capabilities with fuel efficient hybrid tech, so why not make this more mainstream? Why not go full-on electric? One reason not to would be to preserve the automaker’s famed “Ultimate Driving Machine” image.
But Kotouc firmly believes BMW is more than up to the task of retaining its heritage. “I promise you one thing, BMW will bring (EVs) that have equal kind of acceleration that makes it a BMW, and you can take it through corners on a racetrack and it will behave like a BMW.”