Earlier this week, BMW filed a trademark for the name "iM3." Combining BMW's electric "i" and performance "M" badges would theoretically suggest a hot EV, but BMW M boss Frank van Meel is here to quickly shut down those rumors.

In an interview with Top Gear, van Meel said the company would "never" use i and M badges together on the same vehicle. "No, that will be a Mission Impossible!" he says. "Actually, we would never use an i on an M, even though it would be electric."

BMW Neue Klasse EV Concept

That's not to say that a performance EV with a pure M badge won't happen, though. "If we would ever do something like that, it will always be called an M without an i," suggests van Meel, "because that's just the technology, and M is not about technology. It’s about a promise, it’s about motorsports, it’s about emotion. It’s not about the drivetrain."

BMW already has four M-badged EVs – the iX M60, i4 M50, i5 M60, and the i7 M70 – and the company debuted a quad-motor performance prototype in 2022 that looked suspiciously like a 3 Series. So the BMW Neue Klasse electric platform is bound to breed a performance EV, it just won't be called the iM3.

We've reached out to BMW USA for a comment and will update accordingly.

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