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From petrolhead to electrohead

Whether you want a cool inline-six in the front of your BMW 4-series, maybe even a diesel because you are stubborn, a compromise in the form of a hybrid or would you rather have a fully electric powertrain, everything is possible. MASTERS went out with the cleanest of the bunch, the i4. In other words, the electric version. Text: Werner Budding
Online editing: Mical Joseph
Image: BMWNo, you cannot really recognize the 4-series, among its fossil-fueled brothers in the same body shape. Unless you go crazy and discover that the i4 has no exhausts. A neat clean rear. Somewhat suggestively, BMW's design boss Adrian van Hooydonk has added chrome edges; the non-expert could recognize them as an outlet. But why should you be ashamed of your choice? BMW may have been silent for a while when it comes to electric cars, but now the Bavarian car club is launching one EV after another. No, we have not forgotten the i3. In fact, as an electric city runner, the i3 is still more than adequate.

Giant Leap

One number up, from i3 to i4. It seems like a small step, but it's a giant leap. The technology of the i4 is always packaged in the beautiful Gran Coupé carriage. In other words: the well-known BMW mix, between coupe and sedan. For the time being, there is a choice between two versions of the electric sports sedan. The basic variant, the i4 eDrive40, costs a good sixty grand; the big sports EV with the name i4 M50 can be sold for more than ten thousand euros extra. The differences are significant and easy to explain. If you are looking for the most extensive range, then you should go for the i4 eDrive40. With a little bit of good will you can reach 600 kilometers of driving range, at least according to the official legal manufacturer's specifications.

The total experience

But suppose you want more. Not only do you want to use the ever-present power from the electric drivetrain as desired, but you also want more precision in the steering, more stiffness in the bodywork, and powerful brakes. Actually, you just want the M experience in your electric sedan. Then take a seat in the i4 M50. There are more car manufacturers that are able to deliver a lot of power in an electric model. But the trick lies in the total experience, the involvement in driving and the maximum control when you push the EV to its limit. The decades of experience at BMW M Motorsport in improving models that were already good, has led to the most sporty electric car of the moment: the BMW i4 M50. Thick reinforcements between the front struts, a set of brakes that you can't stand, tight steering and a lot of available speed. Because where the i4 eDrive40 with its 340 hp is anything but a wretch in terms of power, the M50 pushes no less than 544 hp to the wheels. A decade ago these were figures that belonged to a super sports car, now you will find the numbers for a neat, efficient electric sedan. Don't be afraid that it's just craziness in the i4 M50. Because many things in this type of car are electronically controlled, such as the steering, damping, drivetrain, and even the acoustics, you can adjust everything to your taste.


Want to read the entire BMW car report? The spring issue of MASTERS celebrates regained freedom after two years of corona. The value of this is underlined by developments in eastern Europe, where the freedom of an entire people is at stake. We live in a new reality, but we can make plans again, go out for dinner, meet people. The world is turning again! Only: which way? Time for new bridges, new initiatives. What this edition of MASTERS offers inspiration for.