This is a wild time to be a BMW enthusiast. The brand’s famous M Division is going through quite the change and will have a different look over the next few years, drastically different than it’s had in decades prior. The reason for that is the adoption of new technology and philosophies. Behind it all is a man by the name of Markus Flasch, who’s not afraid to shake things up.
Prior to Flasch, BMW M was headed by a man named Frank van Meel, formerly of Audi Sport, who was the one to really bring all-wheel drive to the M Division. Now, Flasch’s big step forward will be electrification.
Autoblog recently sat down with Flasch in New Jersey, during the press launch for the BMW X3 M and X4 M. In that interview, he made some interesting points about the future of BMW M and how it’s going to evolve and adapt to the times. When asked about how he’s going to leave his mark on the M Divison, Flasch mentioned electrification.
“We will follow our oath of success as the dominant high-performance brand. In the past, we have had the era of launching turbocharging and all-wheel drive, and if we look forward, my years will be the era of the brand’s electrification.”
What might an electric BMW M be like? “We are evaluating all technologies, i.e. mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but also fully electric cars. And we help ourselves to the corporate parts bin, but we are not compelled to, because we obviously have different requirements. While BMW’s regular cars are focused on electric range, our focus is on performance, and this means not just in a straight line, but also in corners. The performance needs to be reproducible and track-ready, and in some ways this requires different technological approaches. And that’s why, just like with all-wheel-drive, we won’t be the first high-performance brand to go electric. But [we will be] the best.” Flasch said.