BMW's M Division has been doing polarizing things with exterior design and vehicular categorization recently, but buyers appear to be loving it. Worldwide sales from BMW's performance shop were up six percent in 2020 — which, given the year that 2020 was, qualifies as a massive success.
But that's not all the brand is excited about. BMW buried a juicy bit of news in the seventh paragraph of the news release tooting their own horn about their sales success: BMW M will release its first "electrically powered performance automobile" in 2021.
BMW didn't offer details about the new vehicle. While it could be an electric car, we'd suspect BMW will begin with a hybrid. BMW has been peppering in plug-in hybrid variants throughout its lineup; meanwhile the lead-in sentence to the mention of the new vehicle references "electrification," which automakers often use to describe hybrids when they want them to sound cool, rather than related to the Prius.
A good bet for the new vehicle may be the BMW X8 M. BMW filed a trademark application for it last spring; the new vehicle reportedly will be a huge SUV with BMW's crazy 4.4-liter V8 paired with an electric motor to put out a mind-blowing 750 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque. Its rumored codename: "Project Rockstar."
There have been reports about more iconic BMW performance cars like the M5 getting bonkers hybrid options too. But those aren't expected until the next-generation models show up a few years from now, leading us to suspect the X8 M is the most likely candidate.
So when can we expect to see this "electrified" M? As Motor 1 spotted, BMW may have sneaked the reveal date into its "M Town" teaser video last December. An M3 pickup featured a decal advertising "M Town Electric Service" with "26 2021" bolded in the phone number. Europeans list dates with the day first, which means that could be read as "June 2, 2021;" if BMW intended that hint for Americans, however, it'd mean "February 6th, 2021."
Or, of course, it could just mean nothing. But we kinda doubt it.