BMW M has a standalone model in the works, Top Gear reports, though the overall direction of the forthcoming car at this point is still very much open-ended. There is, however the possibility that the performance sub-brand’s flagship could be electric, or at least electrified, likely hinted at by the Vision M Next concept.

“Standalone M cars are obviously something that my team likes to work on. It wouldn’t be the first time; we did it with the M1 many years ago. We have some very concrete plans for something new,” said BMW M chief Markus Flasch. A halo car such as this would have to use a mid-engined layout such as with the BMW M1, wouldn’t it? “That’s an option, but not the only option,” Flasch said.

Beyond the eventual layout, electrification is on the cards, though BMW M isn’t looking ‘just to be first on the market’ in a segment with any given type of powertrain as that isn’t what the brand’s customers are after, Flasch notes. “We will only bring those options to customers when they offer an advantage in terms of character, in terms of performance,” he said.

Despite not disclosing specific details, Flasch hints that the firm is leaning towards an all-new set of underpinnings and powertrain, as befitting a standalone model. “It’s too early to talk about propulsion, but a brand new model without a predecessor is more suitable than a model with a predecessor,” the division chief suggested.

The Vision M Next concept comes to mind, and the closest BMW has come to a production model like that is the mid-engined, plug-in hybrid i8. However, Flasch has revealed that the M division has never actually worked on the i8, though ‘the i and M divisions are in constant interaction, we meet a minimum of once a week and there are no dogmas or taboos between us. We share thinking,” he said to the website.

Curiously, given its performance leanings, the all-new model from the M division won’t be a head-on rival to the AMG One. “The brand doesn’t need a halo car. Business-wise and image-wise I’m a bit mixed if this is necessary; I like the idea, but its needs to do a job,” Flasch said of the future models positioning.

In short, the standalone model could – but may not necessarily be – mid-engined, electrification is more than likely, and the chassis and powertrain could be all-new. What do you think the new model might turn out to be, folks?

GALLERY: BMW Vision M Next