A car of unusual interest this, representing the first conjoining of BMW’s ‘i’ and ‘M’ brands, something it once said it would never do. It’s not a full M-car and we know this because it would be named either like a secret agency (Mi4), a child’s birthday (iM4) or, perhaps more realistically, i4M.
Even so, here’s a car that puts 537bhp under your boot and which will have you travelling at over 60mph less than four seconds later, which seems fairly M-like to me.
The shame is that the rest of the car does not, and for that thank its 2290kg kerbweight. That’s half a tonne more than an M4. It’s more even than a 6-litre Bentley Continental GT. So while a combination of mammoth torque and all-wheel-drive traction assure BMW of the firepower needed to justify that M badge, sadly the same cannot be said for the rest of the car.
It always feels heavy, never disguising its avoirdupois in the same way as foes like the admittedly far more expensive Taycan. There’s little fun on the sorts of roads on which such cars wearing that badge should be enjoyed.
Forget the badge, see it instead as no more or less than a super-refined tourer and its case is clearer. But then why not save a five-figure sum, a lot of weight and gain some range by buying a standard i4 instead? I’ve not driven it, but I’d bet my house that it makes more sense than this.
BMW i4 M50 statistics
Engine Front electric motor, 80.8kWh battery
Torque 586lb ft
Power to weight 235bhp per tonne
Transmission Single-speed, four-wheel drive
Top speed 139mph
Range 258-328 miles (WLTP)
Verdict Difficult to disguise that bulk