2022 BMW i4 M50

Quick, offers great technology and to top it off comes from a well-established marque.
Quick, offers great technology and to top it off comes from a well-established marque.

by Rushabh Shah | May 30, 2022


I’ve loved cars for as long as I can remember, but more specifically I’ve loved BMWs. Over the years, although my views haven’t waivered one bit, BMW seems to have adopted some interesting design tactics and have decided to throw the once coveted BMW Motorsports or ‘M’ badge on everything to help cars sell. Changes like these have made it difficult for even a hardcore BMW enthusiast stay interested in the brand; until I had the opportunity to spend a week living with the full-electric 2022 BMW i4 M50.

The BMW i4 unlike its iX sibling is not built on a bespoke chassis. It shares its underpinnings with the standard gasoline 4-series, which in turn shares this CLAR platform with almost every other BMW currently on the market. Although this may not seem like a good thing at first, it’s quite the contrary because as a result, the i4 doesn’t cost as much as some of its competitors and a lot of the features from the gasoline variant that we like are here to stay.

The i4 M50 is powered by two electric motors, a larger 230kW (308hp) unit in the rear and a smaller 190kW (255hp) unit up front. Most of the time, this BMW will run predominantly in rear-drive mode to conserve power and thereby increase range. BMW touts this car as their first full-electric M car and with up to 536 horsepower and nausea-inducing power delivery, I believe it does deliver at least in the power segment. Features like the simulated launch control, although a gimmick, are a welcome addition to bring the M driving dynamics into the new age of electrification.

There is no doubt that this powertrain is responsive, and to be fair that can pretty well be applied to most electric cars, however the one thing that we did notice was the accelerator felt a tad slow to respond at times. There are no paddles to adjust the regenerative braking on-the-fly like we’ve seen on other EVs, however there is a dedicated one-pedal driving mode that can be activated by moving the shifter to the ‘B’ position.

Most times we didn’t even bother with one pedal driving as the i4 features a neat adaptive regen mode that uses navigation data and info gathered from a myriad of onboard sensors to decide when to increase regenerative braking, and we have to say we were very impressed with how well it works. It’s nice to see that BMW has invested heavily in producing their own charging units and high-voltage battery tech. If you’re into the numbers, 0-100km/h happens in a swift 3.9 seconds, however in our testing, with a full battery pack and launch control mode being used in Sport Boost mode, we saw times that were faster by nearly half a second.

Where the i4 M50 feels less like a M car is in the corners. The problem is simple – weight. The 2022 BMW i4 M50 tips the scales at 5050 pounds and as such, certainly feels a little bit “boaty”. Although the engineers have done their best to disguise the additional weight by putting it low in the chassis, the rules of physics still apply.

This is not to say that the i4 handles poorly, but in comparison to even other BMW models, it lacks a certain sharpness. Overall, in consideration of the weight the i4 handles its heft decently well, and that can probably be attributed to its 48:52 weight distribution. BMW has also equipped the M50 model of the i4 with adaptive dampers in addition to the standard rear air-suspension.

The BMW i4 also comes packed with some excellent technology. BMW’s iDrive 8 is present and it works great. There were very few times we had to search for something we needed, and overall, the massive 14.9-inch touchscreen and iDrive controller combo made navigating the system a breeze. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as well as a wireless charging mat, but to be honest this was one of the few cars that had me using the onboard navigation as it was just a joy to use. Our tester was also kitted with a heads-up display that I can genuinely say is one of the best I’ve used with the sheer amount of information it manages to display without feeling cluttered.

Driving tech was also a highlight here. With BMW’s driving assistant you get the usual suspects such as blind spot monitoring, active cruise control, etc. and what’s also great here is the ‘full self-driving’ experience you get with the traffic jam assistant. Under 60 km/h and when you are on the highway the i4 can effectively drive itself. It uses a driver facing camera and sensor suite to monitor your attention to ensure that the driver is looking for potential threats..

The interior feel of the BMW i4 M50 is great. There is a plethora of great materials being used here, and unlike the BMW iX, the i4 feels remarkably ordinary as an EV. For those looking for great BMW build quality and premium feel, the i4 delivers. One notable point is the lack of piano black trim; we were instead presented with lovely carbon fiber trim. This combined with the girthy BMW M steering wheel and M colour stitched belts made for a sporty interior. Space is comparable to a 4 Series Gran Coupe, although one unfortunate holdover from this being a gasoline conversion is the intrusive “transmission” tunnel and hump in the rear footwell.

The exterior of the i4 follows the same theme of being quite similar to the gasoline variant. Aside from some badging and a lack of exhaust tips, you’d be hard-pressed to pick up on the fact that this BMW is gas-free. Overall, the i4 is handsome and when finished in this brilliant Portimao Blue Metallic, it’s a looker. The one gripe we had with the exterior is the door handles. They were too shallow, making it hard to pull the door open, and with the pillar-less design of the windows and hard protruding edge of the door, this seems like an obvious design oversight.

Range for the BMW i4 M50 model when fitted with the smaller 19-inch wheels is rated at 435km, but that figure drops drastically to 365km when kitted out with 20-inchers. Both of these figures are a far cry from the up to 484km range advertised for the i4 eDrive40. If long range is what you’re after, the M50 is not the star of the show, however things begin to look impressive when considering the performance it offers.

Charging time with a 11kW fast charger is estimated at 8 hours 45 minutes, and luckily the i4 can take advantage of 200kW DC fast charging and can have up to 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes. Keep in mind much less expensive EVs such as the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 can have a 80% charge in as little as 18 minutes.

Speaking of less expensive, the BMW i4 starts at a surprisingly low $54,990 for the eDrive40 model. For the M50 tested here, expect to start at $72,990, still good value for the amount of car you get and the overall premium feel. Our tester with the nice paintwork, $500 upgraded wheels, Advanced Driver Assistance Package which brings the traffic jam assistant at an additional $2,000, and the Premium Enhanced Package which includes great features adds $5,750, for a grand total of $82,090. It’s not what you’d call cheap, but in the segment that the i4 competes in, it’s not over-the-top either.

The new BMW i4 is quick, offers great technology and to top it off comes from a well-established marque that offers excellent build quality and a passionate driving experience. While putting a M badge on an electric car would have been one of my worst nightmares just a few years ago, the 2022 BMW i4 M50 proves to me that electricity can definitely be spelled with the letter M.

See Also:

First Drive: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

2022 BMW M4 Competition xDrive

2021 BMW M3 Manual


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About Rushabh Shah

Staff Writer

Rushabh is an avid car enthusiast since the day he was born. He’s an experienced detailer and largely does his own vehicle maintenance. On the side, Rushabh can often be found tinkering on his classic Porsche 911SC.

Current Toys: ’97 F355 Spider 6MT, '79 911SC Targa, ’00 M5, '13 750i Executive