We’re becoming accustomed to the explosive acceleration EVs can offer, but the BMW i4 M50 still has an ability to take your breath away any time you fully depress the accelerator pedal.
The numbers are impressive – 0-60mph took just 4.1sec even on a damp surface, and the 1.5sec taken to dispatch 40-60mph trails the best effort of a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ by just 0.2sec – but it’s the nature of the performance that’s memorable, particularly in terms of mid-range, roll-on acceleration. Response from the 17,000rpm motors is effectively instantaneous, and with the car’s Sport Boost function engaged, you’re given access to all 537bhp and 586lb ft for up to 10 seconds at a time.
Ask everything of the powertrain and you might elicit a momentary shimmy from the rear axle, and perhaps a fleeting scrabble from the over-rotating front tyres, but the i4 M50’s traction control system gets its house in order with remarkable speed and deftness, and thereafter the car devours the road ahead.
As with all the most serious supercars money can buy, you need to have a clear head and good situational judgement before exploring the M50’s full performance potential. Naturally, acceleration is an event devoid of any real sound. The i4’s synthesised substitute for cam whine, intake roar and exhaust growl is the result of a collaboration with celebrated film-score composer Hans Zimmer, but most testers felt the resulting cyber-din came off as one-dimensional and just a little unnerving, as massive speeds accumulate with little audible fanfare. This remains something of a blindspot for fast EVs.