This is your first look at a proper BMW M electric car. Full electric car. It’s a “so-called concept test vehicle” that allows M to begin testing drive systems for its EVs of the future.
At its core sits a quad-motor all-wheel-drive setup, meaning one motor on each wheel. That, says BMW, allows for “variable, precise, and fast” distribution of torque. Indeed, “conventional drive systems” cannot match the accuracy and speed of those quick-reacting motors. At least according to BMW.
There’s an integrated control unit permanently monitoring the driving condition and what the driver wants to do, and transfers such information “within milliseconds” to the multi-plate clutch and differentials to the four motors.
The motors can recoup braking energy and feed it back into the battery, and BMW says the drive system will continue M’s 50-year legacy of “a linear build-up of drive power and lateral dynamics that permits controllable handling right up to the limits.” Anyone else getting a throwback to the drivetrain of the Merc SLS AMG Electric Drive, though?
You’ll note that this electric architecture has been wrapped up in a typical M body: a coupe with (functional) flared arches that allow “high-performance front and rear axle designs.” Indeed, the front end of the concept features an adapted body strut taken from the M3 and M4, while the radiator placement is based on what current M cars are doing.
“Electrification opens up completely new degrees of freedom for us to create M-typical dynamics,” said BMW M development boss Dirk Häcker.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.