M3 Performance in an EV Package

The BMW i4 is getting a high-performance sibling, and it goes by the name i4 M50. Underneath the skin, the i4 M50 is much the same vehicle as the run-of-the-mill i4 eDrive40. This means the lesser i4’s interior, 84-kWh battery pack, so-called “Gran Coupe” body style, and updated iDrive infotainment system are all accounted for within the i4 M50. The major difference is just how much more potent the i4 M50 is compared to the i4 eDrive40.

Thanks to its two electric motors (one at each axle), the i4 M50 makes a peak of 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque. The i4 eDrive40, for comparison, makes do with 335 horses and 317 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims the i4 M50 sprints to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds. For reference, a 2021 BMW M3 Competition ran to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds in our hands.

BMW also fiddled with the i4 M50’s suspension components to ensure the electric sedan’s handling can cash the check its M badge writes. The battery pack, as in many electric vehicles these days, is a stressed member of the chassis, which affords the i4 stiff underpinnings that ought to benefit handling.

Clean Speed

If you’re chasing performance, then you’re going to give up some driving range in the process. Whereas the i4 eDrive40 offers an estimated 300 miles of range, the sportier i4 M50 manages a mere 245 miles, per BMW. Blame the more powerful model’s standard 19-inch wheels and stickier rubber, as well as the additional drive motor, for the estimated 65-mile deficit.

Perhaps the best part about the i4 M50 is that all of this performance comes without burning a drop of fuel. And BMW is working to build both i4 models sustainably. The floor mats, for example, are made from recycled fishing nets, and there are no permanent magnets in the electric motors, which means fewer rare earth metals are used in the production process.

The i4 M50 is set to start at $66,895, or about $4,000 less than an entry-level M3. The i4 eDrive40, meanwhile, is priced from $56,395. Look for both models to go on sale early in 2022.

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