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Upcoming BMW M Quad-Motor EV Spied Cold-Weather Testing With M3 CS Grille, i4 Bodyshell

August 2022 saw BMW unleash the Ultimate Driving Machine of the future in the form of a quad-motor EV based on the i4 M50. Gifted with the sportier kidney grille of the M3 CS, the newcomer is believed to hit the market in 2027 with a megawatt of electric ponies at its disposal.

That's 1,341 hp in old money or 1,360 ps in the metric system's take on the horsepower, which is way more than the i4 M50 has to its name. It also shames the 738-horsepower XM Label and the plug-in hybrid M5 for the 2025 model year, but alas, BMW is very secretive about said project.

Even so, BMW M can't hide its upcoming EV. Recently spied while testing near the Arctic Circle, the yet-unnamed performance model has been treated to a number of stylistic upgrades. Visual differences over the original concept include a new front splitter and carbon-fiber extensions at the sides of the front bumper, plus a trunk lid spoiler to improve the vehicle's stability at high speeds.

Gifted with red brake calipers and massive rotors, the prototype is lovingly dubbed Ashley. Its name can be found on the oversized grille, right next to the M logo. Sitting closer to the ground than the i4 M50 and M3 CS, the quad-motor EV wears 285/40 by 19-inch Michelin Pilot Alpin rubber out back.

The dual-motor i4 M50 uses 255/4/5 R18s, while the 3.0L twin-turbo I6 M3 CS comes standard with 285/30 R20s. A question, however, still hasn't been answered. Why is BMW M testing its all-electric flagship with CLAR underpinnings rather than on a prototype built around the Neue Klasse platform?

Although the answer lies with a few peeps close to the project, one should remember that BMW is already testing the iX3 Neue Klasse, which will be joined by a 3 Series-like sedan. With the Neue Klasse i3 being so close in footprint to the CLAR M3 and i4 M50, it would be hardly surprising to find out that Ashley incorporates a bit of Neue Klasse under the skin.

Said hypothesis should be taken with a grain of salt, though, because BMW M's quad-motor EV project is a very secretive topic as of March 2024. In any case, internal combustion loyalists don't have to worry about the M3 going the way of the dodo to make room for a one-megawatt electric vehicle.

Fresh reports indicate a G50-derived M3 on the CLAR platform of the next-generation 3 Series, namely the eighth since 1975. The G50 sedan is expected to enter production in November 2026 for the 2027 model year. The M3 is codenamed G84.

In related news, the rear-drive M4 CSL will be discontinued in favor of the all-wheel-drive M4 CS. Due in the second half of 2024, the new M4 CS will be joined by the M3

CS Touring in 2025.