BMW i4 M50i Overview – Is This The Tesla Killer We have Been Ready For?


The BMW i4 is a stop-gap. But when this can be a cease hole then we’ve got quite a bit to be enthusiastic about from the electrified BMWs of future. However earlier than we get forward of ourselves let’s return a bit. BMW mis-read the room once they cancelled their F1 program, slashed spending and created BMWi. The idea was spot-on however the ensuing merchandise (a wonderful metropolis automotive with restricted enchantment and vary adopted by a GT automotive that was exhausting to stay with) have been low quantity gamers that didn’t have an actual have an effect on in the marketplace. In hindsight the automotive we’ve got in entrance of us in the present day is the one we’ve been ready for and BMW in all probability ought to have constructed years in the past. However can it probably stay as much as expectations a decade within the making?

Being based mostly on a platform that underpins each the ICE 4 sequence vary in addition to the brand new all electrical i4 fashions, the BMW i4 is an inherently flawed product. There are trade-offs uncovered within the efficiency, vary and even suspension dynamics as we acquired to know the automotive. However a humorous factor in regards to the i4 is that it’s a BMW and flawed or not. There’s an total high quality to the driving expertise that coupled with an aggressive pricing technique ($65,900 base) instantly makes the i4 probably the most compelling electrical vehicles on sale in the present day.

BMW i4 M50i Review Is This The Tesla Killer

The Vary and the Nervousness

Why our BMW i4 M50 was outfitted with the non-compulsory 20″ wheels and tires that degrade the vary by 43 miles was a bit weird. Apparently BMWNA thought so too and seemingly has eradicated that choice from the line-up making 270 miles the official vary it doesn’t matter what choices you test. That’s good as a result of the i4 M50i wants all of the vary it may get provided that Mannequin 3 Efficiency has a full 315 miles and 334 on the Lengthy Vary mannequin.

When you’re searching for extra vary from the i4 line-up, right here’s how issues stack-up:

  • 301 miles – BMW i4 eDrive 40 with 18-inch wheels
  • 282 miles – BMW i4 eDrive 40 with 19-inch wheels (efficiency tires)
  • 270 miles – BMW i4 M50 with 19-inch wheels (efficiency tires)
  • 227 miles – BMW i4 M50 with 20-inch wheels (high-performance tires) – On our check automotive however at the moment unavailable
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Whereas the day by day want for that a lot vary was questionable, our time with the i4 M50i coincided with a pair roadtrips to each Wisconsin and Michigan. That not solely uncovered the 227 mile vary and being uncomfortable low for these use-cases but in addition the poor charging community we nonetheless have within the US.

Even in main cities like Chicago the provision of accessible chargers (ie not in parking garages) is shockingly dangerous. I can’t assist however assume again to our evaluate of the Tesla Mannequin S seven years in the past and the way even then Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger community made residing with that automotive drama free.

Placing vary situation on roadtrips apart, residing with the i4 day-to-day was extraordinary easy. The i4 can hit as much as 200 kW by way of a DC quick charger which permits it to cost as much as 90 miles of vary in 10 minutes. Formally it’s attainable to vary the battery from 10 to 80 p.c in 31 minutes. The extra widespread L2 residential charger, can go as much as 11 kW on the i4 which implies it’ll go from 0 to one hundred pc in a bit below 8 hours.

However be warned. Plugging right into a typical wall socket is painfully gradual with as much as 4 miles per 1 hour of charging. Meaning a virtually useless i4 will take days to cost totally. Sure it pays to put in a L2 charger at house if you happen to’re looking to buy an i4.

In our checks we discovered BMW’s vary estimates to be very conservative as we commonly noticed full fees with vary round 280 – over 50 miles greater than the official estimate.

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BMW i4 M50i – This Is Not an M Automotive

This isn’t an M automotive. After all we knew that going into our week with the all electrical BMW i4 M50i. However given what number of reviewers have been confused by the title and the place within the vary (taking a look at you BMW), let’s reiterate that earlier than we go additional. As a result of the second you flip the wheel and really feel a complete absence of M ranges of suggestions you’re all too conscious.

We’re going to dwell on this for a second as a result of this lack of suggestions and pure weighting is unforgivable in our eyes. Electrical vehicles from a Tesla Mannequin 3 to even the brand new Rivian R1S truck have extra pure and nuanced suggestions calibrated into the driving expertise than we discovered within the i4 M50. Nevertheless as a lot as that suggestions is missed, when you acclimate your self to the expertise, there’s nonetheless a precision right here.

Belief should be constructed as you actually have little suggestions telling you what the automotive is doing and the place the restrict is. Fortunately the bounds are extremely excessive. The all-wheel drive system seamlessly strikes torque round responding (in milliseconds) to traction points giving the i4 M50 grip ranges that appear inconceivable only a decade in the past.

The sum of the 83.9-kWh battery pack located low, the 536 hp and the big grip means the i4 M50 can blow away an M4 in most stop-light eventualities. The immediacy of the torque and the relentlessness of the ability supply is one thing an ICE automotive won’t ever have the ability to match.

In contrast to Mercedes and Audi, the i4 relies on a platform meant to underpin all the things from a 2 sequence to the X7. Whereas just a few indicators that give this away (the peak and the redundant transmission tunnel), BMW has finished a good job hiding this non-bespoke EV technique.

BMW i4 M50

Know-how and that Huge Display

BMW has fallen into the widespread lure of not simply growing the technological functionality however sadly growing the complexity of the UI. Whether or not its scrolling three rows of apps on a brief, wide-screen or utilizing inconsistent touch-points and interactions iDrive 8 is a step again for usability. And that’s not even mentioning the elimination of the bodily controls for HVAC.

The excellent news is CarPay works flawlessly.

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Dwelling with the BMW i4 M50

Take away the uneven charging community, lack of M degree suggestions and an excessively sophisticated iDrive, the i4 M50 is an extremely interesting automotive. Match and end is great as is the general format of the i4. The hatch is very large and a pleasant improve over the usual trunk on a 3 Collection.

In some ways that is the Tesla Mannequin 3 killer many people have been ready for. The i4 M50 delivers BMW ranges of high quality, design and engineering that feels instantly separated from the Mannequin 3. Whereas the efficiency could lag the Mannequin 3 Efficiency, its 0-60 time of three.3 seconds leaves little to be desired. It’s additionally delivers all of this with high quality, design and efficiency that evokes confidence the Tesla can’t.

Would we go for the i4 M50 over the M440i? Taking away the charging infrastructure points we’ve got within the US, the i4 is a really compelling product that appears like a glimpse of the longer term. However for us it stays a glimpse. It’s an imperfect product in a transition interval for the model that each follows that traditional BMW components whereas trying to the longer term. Sadly that future isn’t fairly right here. What’s nonetheless is the wonderful petrol powered BMW M440i.


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