Two roads diverged in a wood and BMW took ’em both. One is the mission statement EV, a bespoke-platform one-off signaling a categoric shift in the brand’s direction. The other is business as usual, an established platform with an established design, electric propulsion its only distinguishing factor. The former is the BMW iX. This is the latter, the i4 M50.
There’s no mystery concerning which philosophy is generally the most compelling. EVs require compromises, extra financial outlay, and recalibrations to the owner’s thinking. Selling a gas car, but electric, fails to generate the excitement necessary to overcome those hurdles. Mach-Es and Taycans and Teslas and the iX throw out the script, and they’re better for it. This time, BMW argues, it’s different.
This is the first time, the engineers and product team are proud to point out, that an M badge is appearing on an electric vehicle. The “Ultimate Electric Driving Machine,” they say. Just don’t mistake it for a true M car. Those familiar with BMW nomenclature know that if a two-digit number comes after the M, it’s an in-between step. That places the i4 M50 alongside the M440i Gran Coupe, not the M4. Crucially, it also gives BMW wiggle room. Because despite the tricolor badging, the i4 is not designed to handle the racetrack. Bring up that point and everyone at BMW becomes more than willing to point out that the i4 M50 is not a real M car.
For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.