It’s also impossible not to notice the many hundreds of kilograms of extra weight the car carries over its platform-sharing ICE cousins, and this applies when driving both at car-park speeds and when you find yourself on that perfect stretch of B-road. As with any electric car, there are both positive and negative implications from having a battery pack nestled beneath the floor of the car, but with the i4 M50 these seem especially apparent.
Perhaps that’s because the fundamental feel of the car is so recognisable from an M440i Gran Coupé. In this respect, BMW has done a fine job, because the four-door 4 Series is the benchmark for handling in its own class and the i4 M50 steers with much of the same alacrity and possesses the same brand of poise and balance, only with a good portion of natural agility traded for stability.
On its adaptive suspension – via steel springs at the front but with air springs at the rear – body control is also first class. Anybody swapping their M Sport 3 or 4 Series for an i4 M50 might actually rue the slight loss of the pitch and roll movements, which are useful in communicating grip levels and more importantly can help establish a confidence-inspiring sense of flow. The quality of the steering is similarly affected by knock-on effects from the weight of the battery; it has a more leaden feel than that of any CLAR-based combustion BMW but still delivers more uncorrupted precision and feel than any rival EV not named Taycan.