This is our first look at the performance-focused BMW i4 M.
While we're still waiting for the production BMW i4 to break cover after the concept debuted earlier this year, BMW has been caught testing a new mysterious i4 prototype. Our spies believe this is our first look at the high-performance i4 M, which we already know is entering production.
While the prototype is fully camouflaged, there are several key design details that indicate we're not looking at a regular i4 prototype. Compared to the standard i4, the prototype sports M mirrors, more muscular fenders, and a wider rear track at the rear axle. It also sports blue M-Sport brake calipers.
The final performance specifications haven't been confirmed for the production i4 yet, but the concept's dual-motor setup produces around 530 hp, enabling the electric sports sedan to accelerate from 0-62 mph in around four seconds. On a single charge, BMW claims the i4 Concept will last 372-mile miles based on the European WLTP cycle.
In the US, the EPA range will likely drop to around 340-350 miles. With around 500 hp to play with, the BMW i4 M's output will be roughly on par with the new M3 and M4, which produce up to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six gasoline.
However, BMW M boss Markus Flasch recently confirmed the i4 M will be no match for the new combustion-powered M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe as the Bavarian automaker feels the battery technology doesn't meet the standards required for a BMW M car yet.
After all, the i4 M will still need to handle like a true M car, which will be challenging given the added weight of a heavy lithium-ion battery. Production of the regular i4 will begin in Munich, Germany, in 2021 and will likely go on sale in the US as a 2022 model. The performance-focused i4 M will also debut next year.