BMW M's New EV All-Wheel-Drive System Will Be Able to Do a Tank Turn

Photo credit: BMW - YouTube
Photo credit: BMW - YouTube

BMW's M performance division revealed its plan to develop a new electric drive system using four electric motors and a singular, central control module, according to a press release published on Wednesday.

The all-electric drive system will underpin the division's future product, and is now testing under the guise of a highly modified i4 M50 sedan with widened fenders, a new fascia, and the front suspension from an M3. While no technical details about the system have been released, BMW M promises it'll be unlike anything we've seen from the brand before. From the release:

The fact that all four wheels are each driven by an electric motor opens up completely new possibilities for infinitely variable, extremely precise and at the same time very fast distribution of drive torque. Within milliseconds, the power and torque of the spontaneously reacting electric motors can be dosed so precisely that the load demand signaled via the accelerator pedal can be realized at a level of dynamics that is unattainable using conventional drive systems.


BMW published a short video on YouTube showing off the car, along with a very clearly CGI-made clip of the vehicle performing a tank turn, simulating a rotation in place as it spins its tires. We've seen tank turns from four-motor EVs before, but only on dirt. We're curious to see how it'll look in real life.

There's no clear indication when we might see this system debut on a production car, though considering the electric revolution is already in progress, expect it to hit the market soon.

“Electrification opens up completely new degrees of freedom for us to create M-typical dynamics,” BMW M head of development Dirk Häcker said in a statement. “And we can already see that we can exploit this potential to the maximum, so that our high-performance sports cars will continue to offer the M-typical and incomparable combination of dynamics, agility and precision in the locally emission-free future.”

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