BMW i4 M50 2023: A Glimpse into the Future of M Cars
The automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation with the rise of electric vehicles (EVs). As traditional automakers strive to adapt to this new era, BMW has been at the forefront of electric innovation with its “Project i” plan. This initiative led to the creation of the pioneering i3 city car and i8 hybrid sports car. However, these initial models did not achieve the desired sales success. Undeterred, BMW has continued to refine its electric offerings, resulting in the latest addition to their lineup, the BMW i4 M50.
A Blend of Performance and Electric Power
The BMW i4 M50 is a remarkable electric vehicle that seamlessly combines the brand’s renowned M performance with the advantages of electric power. Unlike the iX models, which have their own dedicated platform, the i4 is built on the current 3-series/4-series Gran Coupe underpinnings. This approach allows for adaptability and familiarity, making the transition from conventional engines to electric power more seamless for customers.
Under the hood, the i4 M50 boasts a pair of motors, one for each axle, delivering a combined output of 536bhp and 586lb ft of torque. This impressive power is unleashed when the Sport Boost driving mode is engaged, providing a thrilling burst of acceleration for ten seconds at a time. With a power-to-weight ratio on par with the Mini John Cooper Works GP, the i4 M50 offers exhilarating performance that keeps drivers engaged and entertained.
Agile Handling and Ride Comfort
The BMW i4 M50 not only excels in straight-line acceleration but also offers agile handling and a comfortable ride. Thanks to its adapted platform, the i4 benefits from the 3 series’ double-wishbone front suspension and a pair of air springs at the rear. Combined with adaptive damping and wider tracks, the i4 strikes a fine balance between supple ride quality and precise body control.
The steering of the i4 M50 provides a good amount of feedback, allowing drivers to confidently position the car into corners. The front axle offers ample grip, while the rear remains mobile and responsive, providing the necessary information to make precise adjustments during spirited driving. This fluid and instinctive nature of the i4’s handling makes it an engaging and enjoyable car to drive, even for those accustomed to traditional combustion engines.
Interior and Technology
Step inside the BMW i4 M50, and you’ll find a familiar interior layout reminiscent of its petrol and diesel-powered counterparts. The dual-screen setup includes a 12.3-inch instrument display and a 14.9-inch central display, providing critical information and easy access to various vehicle functions. While the transmission tunnel and traditional gear lever remain, the iDrive 8.0 controller is located in the same familiar position.
The i4’s interior is designed to offer a seamless transition for drivers accustomed to conventional BMW models. The only notable difference is the instrument display, which may feel cluttered to some. Nevertheless, the i4 delivers a comfortable and refined driving experience, with a supple ride quality that rivals many modern-day grand tourers.
Impressive Range and Charging
One of the key concerns for potential electric vehicle owners is range anxiety. BMW addresses this with the i4 M50, which offers an official range of 318 miles on a single charge. Real-world testing, conducted in February with relatively low ambient temperatures, revealed a range of around 230 miles. Although the range decreases as the battery depletes, it remains relatively consistent mile-for-mile.
Charging the i4 M50 is also a hassle-free experience. With the availability of a growing network of fast-charging stations, drivers can recharge the battery to 80% in as little as 31 minutes using a DC fast charger. Additionally, the i4 M50 supports Level 2 AC charging, allowing for convenient overnight charging at home or work.
Pricing and Competitors
The BMW i4 M50 sits in a competitive segment of the market, with several notable rivals vying for attention. One such competitor is the Polestar 2, which offers a long-range dual-motor powertrain, 469bhp, and a claimed range of 352 miles, all at a more affordable price point. Another option is the Tesla Model 3 Performance, which features a 340-mile range and a blistering 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds. For those willing to stretch their budget, the entry-level Porsche Taycan offers a rear-wheel-drive variant with 408bhp, a 5.4-second 0-62mph time, and a claimed range of 276 miles.
While these competitors may offer their unique advantages, the BMW i4 M50 stands out as a compelling option for those seeking a blend of performance, comfort, and electric power. With its M heritage and innovative technology, the i4 M50 represents a glimpse into the future of M cars.
The BMW i4 M50 showcases the brand’s commitment to electric mobility without compromising on performance or driving pleasure. With its impressive power output, agile handling, and comfortable ride, the i4 M50 offers a truly engaging driving experience. The familiar interior layout and seamless transition make it an attractive option for BMW enthusiasts looking to embrace electric power.
Although the range may fall short of official figures in real-world conditions, the i4 M50 still provides ample range for most daily driving needs. Charging is made convenient with fast-charging capabilities and support for Level 2 AC charging.
In a market dominated by SUVs, the BMW i4 M50 offers a refreshing alternative—a sporty and dynamic electric sedan that represents the future of M cars. While there are competitors in the segment, the i4 M50’s blend of performance, comfort, and electric innovation sets it apart as a compelling choice for those seeking an electric vehicle with a touch of M magic.