BMW is bringing M and I together with its first M-badged electric car.

    The 2022 BMW i4 M50 will sit at the top of the two-model i4 range.

    The electric fastback, related to the upcoming, redesigned BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, will arrive here in the first quarter of 2022 and we’ll receive both variants.

    The i4 M50 will feature dual-motor all-wheel drive and total system outputs of 400kW of power and 795Nm of torque in Sport Boost mode.

    This mode frees up an extra 50kW and 65Nm for over 10 seconds.

    It has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds and 510km of range on the stricter WLTP cycle.

    Below it will sit the i4 eDrive40, which uses a single-motor, rear-wheel drive set-up.

    Total outputs are 250kW of power and 430Nm of torque, with a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds and 590km of electric range (WLTP).

    BMW claims electric power consumption of 19kWh/100km in the i4 M50 and 16kWh/100km in the i4 eDrive40.

    The M50 comes with adaptive M suspension with a bespoke tune, plus variable sport steering and M Sport brakes.

    It also has its own unique drive sound. You can also opt for BMW IconicSounds Electric which adds sounds composed by Hans Zimmer.

    DC charging is possible at up to 200kW and all European-market models will come with an AC home fast charger capable of charging the i4 at up to 11kW.

    At a DC fast charger, you’ll be able to add 164km of range in 10 minutes with a 10 per cent charge level in the eDrive40 and 140km with the M50.

    The i4 employs adaptive and adjustable brake energy recuperation, allowing you to toggle between three levels of brake recuperation. You can also shift the i4 into B, which gives you one-pedal driving.

    On the open road, the i4’s coasting function will allow you to “freewheel” with no drive power whenever you take your foot off the accelerator. Maximum recuperation power is 116kW in the eDrive40 and 195kW in the M50.

    The interior is largely reminiscent of that of the 3 Series and 4 Series but for the large, curved-glass display, which instead resembles that of the upcoming iX.

    It brings together in one housing a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen running BMW’s new iDrive 8 infotainment system.

    Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and lane-departure warning.

    Other available safety kit includes adaptive cruise control with automatic speed limit assist, plus lane-keeping assist.

    BMW has yet to confirm local specifications, though features available in Europe at least include heated and ventilated front seats, a sunroof, semi-autonomous parking assist and a Harman Kardon sound system.

    A power tailgate is standard, and luggage space is 470L, expanding to 1290L with the rear seats folded.

    BMW is focusing on sustainability across the i4’s lifecycle.

    The cobalt and lithium required for its batteries will be obtained from controlled sources, with the battery cells manufactured using 100 per cent green energy and the car making extensive use of secondary raw materials and natural and recycled materials.

    BMW also says the specific design principle for the electric motors allows the use of rare earth metals to be avoided.

    BMW Australia is now taking online reservations for the i4, requiring customers to enter their personal details, select their local dealer and make a $500 deposit.

    You can access the reservation portal here.

    Key rivals for the all-new BMW i4 include the Tesla Model 3, and the upcoming Polestar 2, both being mid-sized, premium-branded electric liftbacks.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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