Can an electric car wear the “M” badge? Is road-holding ability worth a range penalty? These are the obvious questions one has when reviewing the all-new, all-electric BMW i4 M50. A motor up front and a motor out back producing a combined maximum 536 horsepower and between 227 and 270 miles of range, depending on wheel size.
BMW’s first generation of i-badged vehicles were the quirky and delightful i3 and attractive but curiously-positioned i8. I’m not sure either can qualify as hits, but they both have a place in history and provided BMW with valuable experience making EVs they are now applying to the rest of their range. Plus, the BMW i3 had maybe the best interior of any car on sale for a couple of years.
The i4 is BMW’s first, ahem, normal car. The company’s crossover/SUV business may be a money gun that never runs out of ammo, but when most people think of BMW they think of the 3/4-Series. The i4 is, essentially, an electrified BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, but with a battery.
I’m going to have the sportier version of the i4, the M50, for a week and am going to learn as much about the ultimate electric driving machine as I can. In this trim there’s a 255 hp electric motor powering the front axle and a 308 hp motor powering the rear, with electron storage courtesy of an 81.5 kWh (net) battery.
This one is nicely optioned with the M Carbon Exterior Package ($2,800) and High Performance Package ($2,500), which includes the larger 21-inch M wheels. There’s also the ($3,600) Frozen Portimao Blue paint which, frankly, I’d be tempted to scoff at if it didn’t look fantastic. The interior is classic BMW and, like all i-cars, seems to be a lovely place to hang out.
We’ll find out. What do you want to know?