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Drift-happy BMW M3 EV with dual-motor RWD system considered for Neue Klasse architecture

BMW's M3 has been a performance icon in the lineup for decades, so it would make sense to start there with a proper electric track car. (Image source: BMW)
BMW's M3 has been a performance icon in the lineup for decades, so it would make sense to start there with a proper electric track car. (Image source: BMW)
An all-electric BMW M car with a dual-motor rear-wheel-drive drivetrain could be on the cards for the German carmaker. This quirky drive-train arrangement could act as a sort of electronic limited-slip differential, give drivers more control over their vehicles, and allow BMW to implement its Drift Analyser feature for extra fun.

BMW appears to want to keep its "Sheer driving pleasure" slogan alive as it moves its vehicles over to EV powertrains. Rear-wheel-drive cars are a fan favourite for those buyers that like to have a bit more fun with their vehicles. According to an Ars Technica interview with BMW M CEO, Frank van Meel, the Neue Klasse architecture will usher in a new era of electric BMW M cars, one of which could be a dual-motor RWD M3.

During the interview, van Meel confirmed that BMW is considering a dual-motor RWD configuration, and that likely has to do with weight concerns more than anything else, especially given the history of the M brand as track cars.

"It's not only about big electric motors, I think that's the easiest thing—you can take them from trains, they have very strong electric motors. The principle has been on the market for more than 100 years. But the trick is to make electric motors very light, very powerful, very compact, but at the same time, you also have to have the right cooling so that they can keep up their performance" — Frank van Meel, CEO, BMW M via Ars Technica.

Curiously, van Meel also hinted that BMW is working on using ABS in its regenerative braking setup to recuperate around 30% of the vehicle's range from hard braking during track use. This sounds awfully similar to Porsche's class-leading regenerative braking that can gather a claimed 290 kW of energy under hard braking.

We've previously reported that a BMW M3 based on the Neue Klasse architecture would be arriving around 2027, and it's been speculated that an electric M3 could offer up to 1,000 hp. However, it will be interesting to see what sort of drivetrain options are available when the electric M3 launches, since BMW currently offers its petrol-powered M cars with both xDrive AWD and standard RWD systems. 

How BMW lays out its motors will affect the weight and weight distribution of the vehicle, and a dual-motor AWD M car might provide a slightly less expensive and slightly lighter alternative to a quad-motor setup for those simply looking to have a little fun at the track on a weekend. BMW's Drift Analyser feature is already featured on many of its current M cars, and they have proven to deliver excitement in the right situations.

Buy a copy of BMW M3: The Complete Story Hardcover on Amazon.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 10 > Drift-happy BMW M3 EV with dual-motor RWD system considered for Neue Klasse architecture
Julian van der Merwe, 2023-10-12 (Update: 2023-10-12)