while waiting for the electric M4…

With 544 peak horsepower, permanent all-wheel drive and a Motorsport tag, the BMW i4 M50 looked to be on its way to complex thermal sports cars. At least before a trip to the most demanding circuit in the world, where it behaved very differently from a Tesla Model 3 Performance.

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Ahead of the future four-engine electric M4, the BMW i4 five-door coupe offers this two-engine M50 version.

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BMW i4 M50

  • – Motor : Electric
  • – Powerful: 544 hp
  • – Throw : November 2021
  • – From € 71,650
  • – No bonuses or malus

In the list of options for the BMW i4, when checking the “Performance” tire box, a message appears in red capital letters, three times larger than the others: “ Attention, loss of autonomy of about 60 km » with the 19-inch stand, or even « about 85 km with the 20 inch ride. You read that correctly, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S or Pirelli P Zero tires reduce the radius of action by up to 16% on the BMW i4 M50, which does not bode well for the grip of the rubbers supplied as standard. , Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3 with (very) low rolling resistance. After measuring the real range of the i4 eDrive40, we wanted to verify the effectiveness of these green tires in a suitable environment: the northern circuit of the Nürburgring.

It’s not a gift for a declared 2.3t model, which doesn’t boast of any Nordschleife performance, unlike the Porsche Taycan Turbo S or Tesla Model S Plaid. But we are teasing, does not mean. So, contrary to what we do for our usual extreme tests, we are not going to evaluate the BMW i4 M50 chapter by chapter (engine/case/chassis/brake). Criticizing a model not intended for this use would be too easy. As during the Nürburgring test on the 508 PSE rechargeable hybrid, we’re going to specify a few points anyway to accompany our very slippery onboard video ride.

The lack of grip of the Hankook tires was felt from the first hectometers. The ABS “tingle” under braking, the front axle sluggish in the register, and the frankly wobbly rear axle in the fast sections should all be reduced with optional performance accessories (285 Pirelli P Zeros wide at the rear instead of 255 here). But, we need not delude ourselves, this inversion will not be enough to erase 100% of the defects found. The i4 M50 really lacks consistency in its reactions when accelerating sliding sometimes with the nose, sometimes with the buttocks, sometimes with both in a four-wheel “sled” taking its mass out. The steering, beefed up in Sport Plus mode, remains stingy with information and isn’t direct enough to deliver the agile feel of a Tesla Model 3 Performance. As for damping, it seems insufficient in high compressions, despite the presence of a rear air suspension.

It’s a shame, because for the rest the BMW i4 was a nice surprise. The braking, a little spongy, remained constant and, above all, much longer lasting than that of the Tesla. Engine power dropped less over the 20 km of the northern loop, even though it is difficult to know whether the sometimes late arrival of the 795 Nm of torque at the hook output is explained by the batteries overheating or by the intervention of the traction control never turned off. at 100% (and imposing having the wheels completely straight to release all the heat of the two engines). Less and less direct over the miles, the thrust is also offset by the iconic sounds, a sort of whistle of a flying saucer mimicking acceleration in the cockpit. We love it or we hate it (they’re still disconnectable), but let’s face it, they add to the sensations!

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Very efficient in straight lines, the BMW i4 M50 is less fond of corners, especially without its “Performance” tires.

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In terms of performance consistency, the BMW i4 M50 therefore behaved slightly better than the other two electric models tested on the north circuit: the Tesla Model 3 had lost a good half of its power at the end of the lap and the Porsche The Taycan Turbo S secured a full lap without losing steam… before reducing speed to 80 km/h from mid-second. specify that our i4 took advantage of favorable test conditions, a yellow flag regimen relieved her of the two minutes of full throttle on the long climb leading up to the carousel’s banked turn. If we only did two laps during this test, the 80 kWh battery would certainly guarantee one more, that is, 60 km of maximum autonomy on the circuit. A result identical to that of the Taycan Turbo S at the Nürburgring, which presented the same consumption: 136 kWh per 100 km, when the WLTP homologation announces a minimum of 18 kWh in the combined cycle. It is not easy, therefore, to consider serene outings on the track, even occasionally.

i4 M50 test review

It is difficult to objectively judge a car not made for the track, which is also hampered by inappropriate tires. If the impressive performance of the i4 M50 surprises the driver (and the thermal sports cars!) in a straight line, there is still work to be done on the rigor of the chassis and the consistency of its reactions so that this “M Performance” sedan can be considered a occasional tracker. Hence to say that the electric car is not yet adapted for this use, it has a step… that we cross with both feet, because even the self-proclaimed queen sedans of the Nürburgring are not beyond reproach. The Porsche Taycan Turbo S only guarantees one lap at its peak performance, and the Tesla Model S Plaid won’t be delivered to France until 2023, more than eighteen months after its lap record was announced. This leaves a lot of room for improvement for the future electric BMW M4 and its four engines…

BMW i4 M50 data sheet
Dimensions and weight
Length 4.78m
width without mirrors 1.85 m
Height 1.45m
Length between the axis 2.86 m
trunk volume 470 liters
Tires on the test model 245/40 R19 front, 255/40 R19 rear
unloaded weight 2,290kg
power and performance
Engine type Electric (one front, one rear)
Powerful 544 hp
Couple 795Nm
Streaming integral
Gear box reducer, 1 gear
0 to 100km/h 3.9 seconds
Maximum speed 225 km/h
Battery, autonomy and consumption
Battery Type lithium ion
Gross useful battery capacity 83.9-80.7 kWh
AC-DC charger power 10.5kW-239kW
Mixed consumption of WLTP 18 to 22.5 kWh/100 km
WLTP Mixed Autonomy 416 to 520km
Charging time from 10 to 100%
8 A household outlet 43:30
AC Terminal 7.4 kW 1 pm
11 kW AC Terminal 8:15 am
DC 50 kW terminal (10 to 80%) 1:13 am
DC 205 kW terminal (10 to 80%) 31 minutes
bonuses and guarantees
Bonus 2022 No
tax power 9 HP
car warranty 2 years, unlimited mileage
battery warranty 8 years or 160,000 km
country of production Germany

TO READ. All BMW i4 prices, equipment and options

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