The BMW i4 hits the sweet spot with range, power and handling


In less than a decade BMW car took the electrification process from quirky to extremely sexy.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that the i3, with its futuristic appearance and suicide doors, rolled off the production line in 2014 with a small 22kWh battery and a 170bhp equivalent electric motor.

Even more surprising is the extremely small range of just 160km – closer to 120km in real life.

Inside, it’s a fully digital interface, with one small screen acting as an instrument cluster and the other for streaming music.

The seats are made from recycled plastic bottles and the gear selector is a giant switch on the big trunk next to the steering wheel.

Acceleration is quick, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 7.2 seconds – faster than a similarly sized 120 diesel.

Fast forward 8 years and Bavarians have taken full advantage of the i4’s fun, which is not surprising in terms of design and technology.

Just reading the spec sheet will make their rivals cry.

For starters, the entry-level eDrive 40 makes 340 hp, does a 0-100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds and a go-anywhere range in Ireland of 590 km from the 80kWh battery pack.

Those looking for a little more adventure can opt for the M50, which has a supercar-like 544hp, all-wheel drive that hits 100kph in 3.9 seconds and a claimed range of 510km.

Deciding that the 3-series wasn’t desirable enough, BMW chose the four-door Gran Coupe as the design model and it looks great.

Subtle tweaks like the solid front grille and the absence of tailpipes in the rear diffuser hint at a zero-emissions certificate.

The biggest takeaway is on the inside, and the interior is gorgeous, too, with a modern cockpit that sits straight out of the much pricier iX SUV.

The curved digital instrument panel consisting of two 12.5-inch screens dominates the cabin and houses the system 8’s iDrive software for sat-nav, music, apps and autonomous driving aids. latest move.

Under the hood is fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, which enables high-power charging (up to 200kW) and will increase the range to 165 km in just 10 minutes.

Using a regular wall box, the battery can go from completely empty to 100pc in under 8.5 hours.

We had a short spin on round 40 at Mount Juliet last week where a four-ball looked on in envious admiration as we wavered before the first tee with a soft whistle. gentle.

The winding B-roads around Thomastown proved the perfect environment when we unleashed our full power.

Rear-wheel drive gives it a real BMW feel, and the fun factor is there when overtaking – especially if you push your luck in wetter conditions.

Like its ICE cousin, the impeccably built, agile, and precise drivability deserve to be called a true Beamer.

We simply wanted to know how tantalizing the M50 would be, with its own adaptive M suspension with individually configured springs and dampers, specially designed anti-roll bars and variable sport steering. change.

Using all-wheel drive, the new quasi-actuator limited-wheel-drive system includes launch control, M Sport brakes and 20-inch light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tires and you there is a suitable clutch.

With that range, power, and processing power, Tesla’s party could very well be over.

The price of the i4 starts at €63,566 and the M50 costs €78,315. The BMW i4 hits the sweet spot with range, power and handling

Fry Electronics Team

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