I’m Driving The BMW i4 M50: What Do You Want To Know?

Bmw I4 M50

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.

P90423087 Highres V2 Mid
Courtesy of BMW, I did not x-ray the car

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.

Bmwi4interior

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?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit

42 Responses

  1. How much of the BMW driving experience does it keep intact? I don’t mind the idea of an EV performance car, and I really like how BMW sedans drive, but so far it seems as though the main complaint with EVs that are supposed to be sporty is that they’re not as engaging. Is this?

    The lack of engagement is my biggest hang up when it comes to eventually making the switch…followed closely by the fact that manufacturers are hell bent on making EVs into Spaceships with Apple Stores on board. This is more of the “make a regular ICE car into an EV” approach which appeals to me way more personally if it feels familiar. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel and descend into techbro hell world with EVs.

    1. I have pretty much the same question. I am somewhat intrigued by the notion of an EV for my next vehicle but my general concern is that for most EVs “fun to drive” seems to be equated to “fast from a stop, going in a straight line”, and I couldn’t care less how fast a car gets to 60 if it’s no fun in the twisties.

    1. Because we don’t have what you humans call ‘a soul’ ourselves, so how can we replicate it?

      Seriously though it’s one of those nebulous things that’s hard to define but easy to spot. When a car’s characteristics and values align with our own we form an attachment to it, and on an emotional level it speaks to us, we consider it to have a soul. BMW have long since abandoned the traits and features unique to them in the pursuit of gaudy emptiness which is all on the surface, so they don’t have the depth of appeal they used to have.

  2. After BMW lost the side body belt line, they becasme unrecognizeable from the side view. so I want to know when the heck are they going to stop making grilles bigger and start looking at other traditions they lost. it is plain stupid to have it going for so many decades and then just stop capitalizing on it even from Mmarketing stand point. Also this one does not have Hoffmeister kink so fuck it

  3. Does it have a “one pedal” drive mode (max regen)? Also, any chance that any of the i4 lineup will be eligible for the revised U.S. tax incentive rules? Also, will it be sold in all 50 states or only in the “CARB States”?

  4. Thanks for the answers!
    So, a little pricier than a Model 3 performance, and a modified ICE chassis.
    Also likely to have poor grip levels for a performance car.
    If this thing can keep up with a model 3 performance, then the true M version will be a missile.
    This is still cool but a little half baked for me.

  5. How much does it cost?
    How does it compare to a dual motor Tesla Model 3 or S in terms of cost, range and power?
    Is this actually a 4 series stuffed with batteries or is it a bespoke EV platform?
    How does it compare to an M4 in regards to curb weight. If it’s heavier, does it have appropriately larger tires so as to offer similar grip levels to an M4?
    Lastly, is this meant to be comparable a true M4, or is it more like an M-sport?

    1. How does it compare to a dual motor Tesla Model 3 or S in terms of cost, range and power?

      – The i4 M50 starts at $67,300

      Is this actually a 4 series stuffed with batteries or is it a bespoke EV platform?

      – 4 Series stuffed with battery

      How does it compare to an M4 in regards to curb weight. If it’s heavier, does it have appropriately larger tires so as to offer similar grip levels to an M4?

      – It has the same wheel/tire package as the M440i

      Lastly, is this meant to be comparable a true M4, or is it more like an M-sport?

      – M Sport. They’ve shown off a mule with 4 motors that’s supposedly going to be their “M” version.

  6. Please for the love of god explained to me how the BMW naming/numbering correlates to the number of doors! (I could have sworn 4 series = two doors). Also what logic is being applied to call a four door a coupe? Does putting grand in front of the word coupe act as a multiplier so you get two coupes mashed together and thus four doors? I need to know because currently I cannot own a post 2000 BMW due to fear of never understanding what it truly is.

    1. Allow me to explain. They used to have the 3 series, which was a 4-door sedan, and the 3 series coupe, which was a 2-door coupe. At some point they realized people would pay more money for a “4” than for a “3”, so they renamed the coupe the 4-series and the 3-series was now the sedan.

      Shortly after this, someone said “what if we made a larger 4-series, some customers are complaining that it’s too hard to get their mistresses into the back seat of the 4-series.” Now, you may ask “why wouldn’t they just buy a 3-series”, but that’s because you’re a plebian who has no concept of class. See, 3 is less than 4, so there’s no way a 4-series customer would be seen in a 3-series. So BMW decided to make a 4-door version of the 2-door version of the 4-door 3-series. It’s a little less practical than the 3-series due to a lower roofline, and definitely more expensive, so it checks all of the boxes for the status-obsessed and makes more money for BMW in the process. It’s a win-win.

      As for calling it a “Gran Coupe”, you can blame Mercedes for bastardizing the term “coupe”. They’re also the ones who gave us the GLE “Coupe”, which is the more eye-assaultingly ugly abomination to grace our luxurious streets since the Aztec. And now you have an understanding of how we ended up in this horrible hellscape of nonsensery.

  7. Just not interested at all in these. Not enough chargers, it won’t be any cheaper, it WILL be more inconvenient, chargers will get messed with/shutoff when disasters strike.

    I also dislike the crazy weight. My daily weighs under 1900lbs.

    1. My main gripe is that it doens’t come in wagon. Second is the looks, altough iX has really made this look almost good.

      Personally I think Golf-sized EV for commuter if one has home charging makes tons of sense. And second car (wagon) for trips with more stuff and range. Less weight with EV:s are rather beneficial for the efficiency and with home charging the range isn’t really a thing.

      Also what the hell do you daily? Some trike?

    1. The marketing/design works decided it has to be recognizable as a BMW. If it had an attractive snout, it would confuse people into thinking it was a car with working blinkers, and people would get mad. This way, they understand that the driver is exempt from using them.

Leave a Reply