Now that the BMW i4 M50 is on sale, there are going to be a lot of customers cautiously interested. The apprehension to buy such a car is understandable, as the vast majority of BMW customers are inexperienced in the world of electric vehicles. So switching from their BMW 3 Series or 5 Series to an all-electric i4 could be a shocking transition. Which is why we’re here to help you understand the BMW i4 M50 and whether you should buy one.
Of course, there’s a non-M Performance version — the BMW i4 eDrive40 — which is less powerful and packs further range. However, all of the same reasons for buying an i4 M50 apply to the less powerful i4 eDrive40, just at a lower price point. Let’s dig in.
What is the BMW i4 M50?
The BMW i4 M50 is the M Performance version of the new all-electric i4. Being an M Performance model, it’s been tuned a bit by the M Division, therefore making it the first ever electrified car to come from the M Division. It gets two electric motors, one at each axle, making 536 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, it can get from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, which is about as fast as the rear-wheel drive BMW M3 Competition.
Being the top-end model with M3-rivaling performance, it also comes with an M3-rivaling cost. The BMW i4 M50 starts at $65,900 and only goes up from there, with options quickly pushing it past $70,000. So it isn’t cheap. However, if you’re in the market for any BMW sedan in that anywhere near that price range; BMW M3, M440i Gran Coupe, or even a 5 Series; it’s well worth taking a look at the i4 M50 instead.
But What About Range?
Range is easily the biggest concern for first-time EV buyers. They want to know how far they can drive on a single charge, whether they’ll get stuck on the side of the road with a flat battery, and how long it will take to charge if they can find a charging station. It’s a reasonable concern but one that’s becoming less and less, erm… concerning. The i4 M50 packs a claimed range of 270 miles, which is far more than enough for 95 percent of Americans on a daily basis.
However, if you do have to stop off and charge, the i4 M50 is capable of 200 kW charging, among the fastest in the industry. If you can find a 200 kW charger — which is admittedly difficult to do — it can add 87 miles in ten minutes. On a Level 2 11 kW home charger, it can charge from flat to full in eight hours. So if you plug it in at night, when you wake up in the morning, it will always have a full charge. Giving you a fresh 270 miles each and every day.
What’s it Like to Drive?
Another concern many customers have is whether they’ll like the feel of the car. Electric cars do feel quite a bit different from combustion engine cars, as there are no revs to rise and fall, no gearshifts to deal with, and no engine noise to hear. They also add some interesting oddities, such as regenerative braking, potential one-pedal driving, and instant torque. So there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to EVs. However, it’s a much smaller learning curve than many customers think.
Driving an electric car is still very similar to driving a combustion car once you get used to it. Also, because the BMW i4 M50 is based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe, it feels very similar to drive, meaning customers used to modern BMW sedans will feel right at home in the i4. Especially when you consider that the interior is mostly the same, save for the new iDrive 8 screen.
Should I Buy One Over a Normal Sedan?
The answer is yes, unless there are reasons why you can’t. This goes for the less expensive BMW i4 eDrive40 as well. Unless you absolutely cannot own an EV as your daily drive; for reasons such the as lack of charging network near you or frequent long-distance trips without charging stations along the way; the BMW i4 offers all of the same great qualities as its 3 Series/4 Series siblings but with an improved powertrain.
Not only that, if you charge correctly; either having solar panels on your home to offset energy consumption or charge only during off-peak hours; you’re doing the environment a bit of a favor. The BMW i4 is the best version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, so if you’re looking to get one, or even a 3 Series sedan, check out the BMW i4 as well. It’s a great car worthy of your consideration.