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16 Aug 2022

What We Dislike
Does not stand out from a regular 4 Series Gran Coupe
No additional storage space under the bonnet

The BMW i4 M50 offers an astonishing level of dynamism, practicality, and surprising high comfort for those longer journeys.


This is the first all-electric car from BMW M: The i4 M50. Scroll through its spec sheet and you'll find that it has the numbers to claim lineage from a pedigree that includes such hairy-chested classics as the Z3M, M2 CS, as well as the M5 CS.

There's electric motors at both axles here, for example, which tally up the total output of the BMW i4 M50 at 536bhp and 795Nm of torque. That's 33bhp and 145Nm of torque more than the BMW M4 Competition Coupe. And it has the pace to match as well, matching the zero to 100km/h sprint time of the petrol-powered performance coupe at 3.9 seconds.

Discreet Look

A total of 536bhp makes the 2,290kg BMW i4 M50 feel light on its feet
Despite this towering performance, the exterior of the i4 M50 is remarkably subdued.

There's the typical BMW i blue touches on the head lights, wheels, and badges that tell you you're in something electric, accompanied only with tiny 'M' badging throughout.

And with half of its front grille blanked out, the i4 M50 is discreet enough to pass as any regular 4 Series Gran Coupe.

The interior of the i4 M50 likewise follows this discreet approach.

BMW Operating System 8 makes it easy to tailor the drive as you want it
BMW's new Curved Display dominates affairs here, taking away attention from the blue accents here, such as the gear selector, start button and steering wheel.

These touches, along with the small 'M' badging on the instrument cluster and steering wheel, were the only touches I could find within the cabin that hint of the performance on offer.

Quiet Drive

Press that start button and drive off with the i4 M50 set into its 'comfort' mode and you'll find that it marks itself out as a competent grand tourer. There's a light steering that is also rather mute on feedback for a performance-oriented vehicle, alongside a ride that is only slightly on the firm side.

Activating launch control will pulse the motors in the i4 M50, simulating an engine pushing against the vehicle's brakes
Couple these with excellent cabin insulation and what you get is a car that will simply melt away the miles on those long drives, all at a rate of just 4.9km/kWh as tested.

Head for more challenging roads and you'll find the i4 M50 just about as capable.

You'll need to switch the car over into its 'Sport' mode before throttle responsiveness and steering weight settle into levels that make the i4 M50 feel more eager to take on curving sections of tarmac.

But do so and the car will turn into corners with respectable eagerness, while body roll is also kept reasonably well checked, all despite the car's significant 2,290kg weight. The grip levels on offer, meanwhile, are fantastic.

Without a frunk for additional storage up front, the 470-litre boot is all the space you'll have for luggage
And it's only in this driving mode that you'll get the full experience of BMW's IconicSounds artificially-generated acoustic feedback system. It plays a digital whine akin to the sound you might expect a spacecraft from a video game to play whenever you prod the accelerator pedal, and is just about enough to stir.

Competent all-rounder

At $310,888, this BMW i4 M50 sets itself as a competent alternative to the $485,858 Porsche Taycan 4S (all prices as of 15 August 2022, before COE). The BMW just barely inches ahead when it comes to power output, but makes do with only a single-speed gearbox whereas the Taycan gets a two-speed unit.

And if you also need to ferry passengers and luggage about, there's a total of 470-litres of boot space in the i4 M50 (that's just 10 litres less that a 3 Series Sedan), and good space all around for those at the back row.

With its well-rounded abilities and capable all-electric drivetrain, this i4 M50 is an impressive new offering from BMW M, all ready to do battle in a new, all-electric age.


Shopping for a fast all-electric four-door? There's also these options to consider:

The Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor comes with a distinctive exterior and a premium cabin

The Tesla Model 3 Performance meanwhile, comes with brutal acceleration, and an impressive Autopilot system

The Porsche Taycan 4S also comes with capable handling, and a high-tech interior

There's also the Audi e-tron GT, with seet handling, and a handsome exterior
Car Information
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BMW M Series i4 M50 Gran Coupe Electric 80.7 kWh (A)
Rate it

Price

: $417,888

Engine Type

:

Electric Motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

400kW (536 bhp)

Torque

:

795 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3.9sec

Top Speed

:

225km/h

Energy consumption

:

4.3km/kWh

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