BMW revealed on Wednesday that it is testing a four-motor powertrain for its upcoming M-performance electric vehicles.

Although the car maker lacks a specific electric M model for its vehicles, it had already introduced the diet iX M60 and i4 M50 models. Users may get a peek of the potential powertrain for the i4 M50 model thanks to the prototype powertrain that has been shown to be an i4 development mule.

four-motor layout

The company states that it is evaluating the drivetrain as well as a related chassis-control technology that aids in improved power distribution. According to BMW, the endlessly variable torque distribution of electric motors gives for a great deal of versatility. They also noted that the system also evaluates steering angle and accelerator pressure in addition to sensor output to deliver the right amount of power.

In order to increase cooling and torsional rigidity, as well as to make room for the four motors, the i4 M50 development mule incorporates several components from the gasoline BMW M3 and M4 (which share the same chassis). Each axle is driven by two motors; therefore, each wheel has its own motor.

However, the automaker’s use of a four-motor powertrain is inefficient as it adds extra weight to the models and is still fairly new as other auto manufacturers re utilizing three motors. For example, Tesla revealed the tri-motor Model S Plaid+, while Lucid has a tri-motor version of the Air in the works, although the former’s model has been cancelled.

2023 BMW iX M60

With its three motors and “Watts to Freedom” (WTF) mode, the GMC Hummer EV can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds while weighing about 9,000 pounds. Additionally, three-motor Audi E-Tron S models are available, but they’re uncommon and we haven’t gotten a chance to drive one—let alone compare it to the dual-motor models—back to back.

Although it has hinted that the configuration is exceedingly expensive to produce, Rivian offers a quad-motor drivetrain in the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV and has teased special Tank Turn and K-Turn modes with it. A four-motor version of the Cybertruck has also been promised by Tesla, while the Lordstown Endurance will reportedly include four in-wheel motors.

Therefore, outside of elite supercar manufacturers like Rimac, if BMW’s quad-motor powertrain enters production in a future M model, it may be the first of its kind designed for racetracks and canyon roads over off-road trails and construction sites.