BMW and other brands focus on transitioning to high performance electric models

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ByDave Kunz via KABC logo
Saturday, September 24, 2022 1:47AM
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BMW will be producing electric sports cars, and they're not going to give up that high performance factor.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- BMW will be producing electric sports cars, and they're not going to give up that high performance factor. When there's a BMW with a factory-installed "M" badge, that is the performance model massaged by the company's storied M Division.

"M stands for motorsports and emotion, so it's the performance and high performance vehicles of BMW, made by the M Division," said Frank Van Meel, CEO of that BMW sub-brand.

The 2023 M850i Gran Coupe has all the elements, starting with a 523 horsepower twin-turbo V8 and suspension enhancements. There's also a four-door model that can hustle like a sports car. It's priced at just over $102,500 MSRP.

With the car world changing, the M performance car doesn't have to be only powered by gasoline, as evidenced by BMW's newest track weapon that will compete in the upcoming 24 Hours of Daytona: the BMW M Hybrid V8, recently unveiled to the media at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Van Meel said at the event that is the first step toward racing and electrified M power in racing.

With the overall move toward electrification, there's a new M model, the all-electric iX M60. From its 600+ horsepower to its handling, it offers more of everything than the regular iX 50 EV. This model carries a higher price tag, at $110,000 before options.

So far, it's the second BMW electric model to get the M treatment. The first being the i4 M50, an electric sedan.

The basic elements that go into a high performance car are improved suspension, brakes, and tires to get around corners more quickly. Of course, there's increased power, and the sound of that power.

Mash the throttle on the M850i and you hear great noises from its twin-turbo V8. But mash the throttle on the iX M60, and you'll also hear great noises, though the sound in the electric BMW is artificial, but the idea is that drivers won't miss internal combustion cars as much if the EVs sound good to their ears.

Along those lines, Dodge is famously killing off its V8 muscle cars, but they're unveiled a concept car as a preview of what will replace it: the Charger Daytona.

Dodge says it'll sound as cool or cooler than the legendary Hemi V8s. Not only inside the car, but outside as well, thanks to an artificial exhaust system called "Fratzonic" that plays a shrieking sound through speakers.

The auto world is changing, but performance will still be around. It will just feel, and sound, a little different.