BMW has been testing high-performance electric powertrains for the past few years, and one of the first production applications may be a special M2 dialed up to hypercar levels of performance.
CAR reported last week that an electric version of the next-generation M2 currently out testing in gasoline form is being developed under the code name Project Katharina. The electric M2 will reportedly debut in 2022 as the iM2, and with 1,341 hp on tap, or one megawatt. Providing the power is said to be four electric motors.
Apparently the M2 was picked as the basis for the iM2 over the larger M3/M4 due to a smaller size and resulting smaller weight. Being an M car, the iM2 will have to perform at the top level in more than just straight-line acceleration, so low weight will be key.
Reported performance for the iM2 is a 0-60 mph time of less than 2.5 seconds and a Nürburgring lap time under the magic seven-minute mark.
2023 BMW M2 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The car is reportedly being developed to showcase BMW’s talents in high-performance electric powertrain development, as well as celebration of the BMW M division’s 50th anniversary next year.
According to CAR, the iM2 hasn’t been given the production light, and there’s a good chance it never does. Rather, it’s more likely the iM2’s technology will be transferred to the first generation of electric M cars. We’ve previously heard that a next-generation M5 due around 2024 will offer an electric option with at least 1,000 hp.
The electric M5 is expected to feature a three-motor setup with a single electric motor up front and two in the rear. BMW previewed just such a setup in 2019 using a 5-Series prototype, although the prototype was said to have just 720 hp.
As for BMW’s gasoline-powered M2, the car is due in 2022 as a 2023 model and should come with a detuned version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 found in the M3/M4. Count on it having at least 420 hp.