The strangely styled all-electric iX is going to be one of BMW M's first all-electric vehicles.
CarBuzz has discovered that BMW has trademarked the name "iX M," which can only mean one thing: the quirkily styled all-electric SUV is about to get hotter. The trademark was filed with Germany's trademark office (DPMA), with the application made on 18 November and the registration going ahead on November 24.
Although the German automaker is doing its utmost to keep combustion models alive, BMW M boss Frank van Meel has said that he thinks "there is no alternative to going electric." To that end, the company is progressively producing more electrified products with M badges, and although the i4 M50 is touted as an M car, it's more like an M-lite.
An iX M, however, could be the real deal.
The existing BMW iX is already a pretty impressive performer, particularly if you order the M60 trim. While a regular iX xDrive50i produces 532 horsepower and 749 lb-ft of torque, the M60 increases that to 610 hp and 811 lb-ft. As a result, the top-tier iX can do 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
Those figures would need to improve drastically for the expected iX M, but how far can the electric SUV go? The upcoming M5 is expected to pack a 700-hp hybrid punch, while the all-electric iX may require even more to deal with all its weight. More importantly, what will an all-electric SUV from the M division be like to drive?
BMW has already started to explore the unique opportunities offered by a drivetrain with individual wheel control, such as standing donuts, and has noted that the response of electric motors "is unattainable using conventional drive systems." Frank van Meel seems to be very confident that an all-electric M product can be exhilarating to drive and has oathed to maintain outstanding driving dynamics, saying in an interview with Autocar earlier this year, "whatever the powertrain, you should always be able to drive our cars and know they are M cars."
As disappointing as that may seem, the BMW M CEO has also been on the record saying that a full-fat M car running on nothing but electricity "has to be better than its predecessor, and it has to be a typical M," noting that going all-electric will only happen when the technology is capable enough.
With an M version of the iX clearly on the way, one can't help but be a little cynical about those claims. Hopefully, successive electric M cars will be easier to stomach.