It’s been said for some time that BMW M cars will eventually be electrified, with reports dating back as far back as November 2017. This time, though, new BMW M boss Markus Flasch told CarAdvice that the first electrified M car is “not too far in the distance,” and suggested that the introduction of electric assistance will be gradual.

“For me, everything that brings competitiveness and performance to a car is relevant for M,” he said. In the same way his predecessor Frank van Meel was known to introduce all-wheel drive to M cars, Flasch could be known for introducing electrified powertrains. “There is no dogma in how we equip our cars. So, as soon as one of those technologies qualifies for proper M specification, we will make them available,” he told Australian media on the phone.

“We won’t see a switch black-and-white. There won’t be one point in time where combustion engines disappear and hybrids replace them, and then another where battery-electric vehicles replace hybrids,” he explained. “What we might see depending on the market, depending on segment, we might see different technologies in parallel.”

It’s unclear at this point which electric system – mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric – BMW M plans to use for its cars, but CarAdvice said there won’t be multiple powertrain options on the same platform. In other words, there won’t be petrol-engined M3 offered alongside a plug-in hybrid M3, because these cars sell in small numbers, and the extra variant won’t make much of a business case.

Whatever the case, Flasch seems excited by the prospect of having complete control over three things – where a car’s torque is going, when it’s going there and how much torque is available. “When we talk about electric vehicles, this offers a huge opportunity for us. If you think about current systems, you pretty much control the engine output over braking, or brake systems. You destroy energy with it,” he explained.

“On an electric car, think about four independent engines. You can do this type of control on the power side, not on the braking side. This is where we think we will make a difference when it comes to electric power. This is where we are very strong, compared to the rest of BMW and also compared to the competition.”

“As long as you get the exact right amount of torque to the wheel in the right situation, there is no certain number or limit of power. It’s just about how you control it,” he said.

Earlier in March, BMW i boss Robert Irlinger said his team has already started working with BMW M to deliver electrification in performance cars. He also said “we are in talks with all of the other BMW Group brands and sub-brands,” which includes Rolls-Royce, MINI and yes, M division. Expect to see electrification among these brands as well. “It will be at differing levels, of course, but it will happen. We are working with them, right now,” Irlinger explained.