The M50 will be much more powerful than an M4 Competition.
We've seen the BMW i4 before, of course. The covers came off this four-door electric coupe back in March but such are the differences between global markets that we have had to wait until now for the official US debut and for the final specs accompanying models sold here. BMW first showed the i4 eDrive40 (revealed here in white), but now we have a clearer look at the sporty i4 M50 (pictured in blue) that leaked under two weeks ago.
Both versions featured here are European-spec models but we now have confirmed power, range, and pricing details for the US-bound BMW i4 which will go up against the Tesla Model 3 and the upcoming Audi A4 e-tron.
The BMW i4 range starts in North America with the eDrive40 which is a rear-wheel-drive model with 335 horsepower. It has a single excited synchronous electric motor at the back and an estimated range of 300 miles. The M50 has two electric motors - one in front and one at the back - producing up to 536 hp combined. A Sport Boost function for the M50 can temporarily unlock maximum power from both motors and a peak torque output of 586 lb-ft. This high-performance model has a reduced range estimated at 240 miles. The M50 can complete the 0-62 mph run in only 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 mph while the eDrive40 takes 5.7 seconds for the sprint and tops out at 118 mph.
Using BMW's fifth-generation eDrive technology, the high-voltage battery has an 83.9-kWh gross energy capacity. BMW says that volumetric energy density is improved by 40 percent at cell level compared to the BMW i3's battery. When connected to a Level 2 Wallbox and using AC power at an 11-kW charging rate, the battery can be recharged from zero to 100 percent in less than eight hours. However, a charging rate of 200 kW via a DC fast-charging station can add 90 miles of range in just ten minutes. BMW has partnered with EVgo, the first public fast-charging network that is powered by 100% renewable energy. BMW promises access to over 38,000 Level 2 chargers and over 800 fast-charging stations at shopping malls and the like.
Despite the absence of combustion power, BMW promises that the i4 will still be agile and enjoyable to drive. In fact, the battery module ensures a lower center of gravity than the 3 Series. This, together with the rigid body structure and the ability to send power to only the rear axle in the case of the AWD M50, should make it a sharp handler. Launch control is standard and the M50 gets variable sport steering, an option on the eDrive40. A rear air suspension with a self-leveling function is included.
The i4 adopts many styling cues from the regular 4 Series but in a more practical four-door package. 18-inch wheels are standard on the eDrive40 while the M50 gets 19-inch M light-alloy wheels.
Full-LED headlights, air curtains that enhance aerodynamics, and a grille that is mostly closed off are standard. The M50 also gets extra side air intakes, an M rear spoiler and Cerium Grey trim.
Inside, the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 14.9-inch center display have been merged into a single unit. The blue accents for items like the start/stop button set apart the i4 from the normal 4 Series. A glass sunroof and three-zone climate control form part of an extensive features list. The latest control interface is based on iDrive 8 software.
Pricing starts at $55,400 for the eDrive40 excluding a $995 destination charge, whereas the Tesla Model 3 begins at under $40k. The quicker M50 has a starting price of $65,900. The official North American market launch is planned for the first quarter of 2022.