First Drive: 2022 BMW i4 M50
|driving.ca 13 Oct 2021 at 06:39|
However, the one-pedal setup really comes into its own during a hard and fast run where the driver is on and off the accelerator quickly and repeatedly. In the Bavarian Alps, it allowed the M50 to be set up for a corner by simply feathering the accelerator. It worked so well, the need to engage the regular M Sport brakes was virtually nil — only underestimating the severity of a decreasing radius hairpin brought the need to jump on the brake pedal!
The M50 rides on an adaptive M suspension. The setup uses regular coil springs up front and load-levelling air springs at the back with adaptive dampers at both ends. The calibration is just about spot-on. The key is the emphasis changes according to the drive mode selected. In Sport, it banishes body roll when pushing on through the twisty bits; Comfort mode makes it commendably compliant the rest of the time. EcoPro is only for those times when maxing out the range is paramount.
Part of the M50’s agility boils down to the fact the stiff body is further strengthened by suspension braces and the fact the i4’s centre of gravity is 10 milimetres lower than the regular 4 Series Gran Coupe. Factor in the speed and accuracy of the steering and the M50 is a seriously dynamic drive.
Normally, the mass at play — almost 2,300 kg in this case — makes the drive feel lethargic and numb. That is not the case here. The M50 pushes deep into a corner, it pivots sweetly at the apex, and then hauls out of it with a rare tenacity. It’s such I forget I was driving an all-electric vehicle. This tells you how sharp and seamless it feels when pushed.
2022 BMW i4 M50 Photo by Graeme Fletcher
The rest of the M50 is all 4 Series Gran Coupe — excellent materials, deep-dish front seats with lots of bolstering and support, enough rear seat space for a pair of riders to relax comfortably, and a roomy trunk that’s unaffected by the battery. The key difference is the i4 M50 features BMW’s latest 12.3-inch instrumentation and 14.9-inch infotainment screens. The two sit under a single, free-standing piece of glass. As it’s the same setup found in the larger iX, in the i4 it occupies a little over half of the crash-pad’s real estate, so it’s an instant eye-catcher and tough to miss! The better news is the graphics at play are crystal clear and delving into the infotainment system proved to be easy and uneventful.
The 2022 i4 M50 is a true joy to drive and reminded me very much of the M3 sedan. It has power to spare over the entire operating range and it devours a corner without feeling taut or temperamental in the city. It is an enviable blend of abilities that should see its popularity soar almost as quickly as it romps off the line!
When the 2022 BMW i4 arrives in Canada next year, the eDrive40 will start at $54,990; the M50 tested here will command $72,990.