Listen to this article

Our first encounter with a BMW 7 Series G70 prototype with a quad exhaust occurred in February 2021 and we've been wondering ever since whether we'd finally get an M7. When the seventh-generation model was unveiled earlier this week, the fullsize luxury sedan did flaunt the menacing setup, but not on a full-fat M version. Instead, the M760e xDrive had four tips.

Ok, that's not much of a surprise since the defunct M760i with its mighty V12 also had a quartet of exhaust finishers. However, we were taken by surprise when we saw official images of the 760i rocking a similar arrangement. It's not an M Performance model, let alone a fully fledged M, and yet it has the quad exhaust. There are some subtle differences between the designs in the sense the tips are separated on the M760e and connected on the 760i.

2023 BMW 760i and M760e

It is unknown whether other normal BMWs will adopt the setup, but the company's design boss Domagoj Dukec did tell BMWBLOG that all future M Performance cars will receive this arrangement. He confirmed what the spy shots of the next-gen X1 crossover have been showing as the M35i is next in line to get the beefy exhaust. To distinguish M Performance cars from the actual Ms, the "M Lite" models will feature this design whereas the range-topping models will have a different look.

With the 3 Series about to go through a mid-cycle facelift, there's a pretty good chance the M340i will also switch to the new layout. It'll be interesting to see whether Europe's M340d with its torquey diesel engine will borrow the same configuration. Subsequent facelifts and next-gen models of M Performance cars will all double the number of exhaust tips.

Then there's the XM, the first standalone M car since the iconic M1. It will be different than all M and M Performance cars in the sense it'll have stacked tips shaped like a trapezoid. Also a plug-in hybrid V8, the next M5 has been spied with the traditional quad round tips instead of the XM's bold new exhaust. Time will tell whether the super sedan will stick to the known formula or inherit the XM's look-at-me design.

Of course, BMW's strategy already has an expiration date. The Bavarians through their M division have promised to keep the inline-six and V8 engines until 2030, but they might not live past 2035. Should the European Commission's proposal to ban sales of new ICE cars get voted favorably, it seems highly unlikely the company will retain its large-displacement engines for markets outside the European Union. It's not like non-EU governments are big fans of ICEs anyway, so their days are numbered.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com