It was only a few years ago we heard that BMW M was too busy to launch a standalone model to compete with rival offerings like the Audi R8 and Mercedes-AMG GT and GT 4-Door Coupe.

Now, the BMW go-fast division is actively studying a standalone car, and more than one option could be on the table.

“We are investigating M variants that may also be standalone; that don’t have a predecessor,” BMW M chief Markus Flasch told Car Sales in an interview published Monday.

In the same interview, Flasch revealed that he and his team had already chosen specific vehicle categories and said that the cars may not necessarily sit at the top of the range, though he said he couldn't mention details at this time.

Markus Flasch

Markus Flasch

BMW M not going wit a range-topping supercar or hypercar ties in with comments Flasch made earlier in June, where he suggested that BMW M didn't need a supercar because the new M8 already offers supercar-like performance.

BMW M plans to unveil a concept later this month to provide a hint of its future plans. The concept is expected to feature electrification and possibly some form of self-driving technology that could be used to help hone a driver's skill. The concept may also hint at one of the standalone models BMW M is currently studying.

Car Sales' sources said the studies are still at an early stage. If approved, a possible launch for a standalone car could be tied with BMW M's 50th anniversary coming up in 2022.

BMW M has launched a standalone car in the past: the M1 supercar of the late 1970s.