BMW’s all-electric M car has made a few people very unhappy. Some car reviewers, a few of whom have garages stuffed full of luxury motors and get to drive Ferraris most days of the week, are particularly miffed and have proclaimed that this i4 M50 “isn’t a real M car” because it doesn’t have a petrol engine.
But the thing is, if you’re a normal person who drives a normal vehicle day to day and doesn’t get to experience what it’s like to be propelled from zero to 60mph in three and a half seconds very often, then this car is absolutely staggering.
In the five days I had it, five brilliant days, I had eight different strangers come up to tell me how beautiful the car was and to ask questions about it.
I parked it in a town centre one day for half an hour and came back to find four chaps standing around taking photos of it, not speaking, just taking in the lines.
And in this stunning colour of ‘Dravit Grey’ with an oyster interior, it really is a gorgeous thing to behold.
READ MORE: Electric car driver fined £100 after charging for just five minutes
Although the acceleration noises might be fake, they’re still composed by Hans Zimmer (seriously) and they accompany the kind of instant speed that you’d be hard pressed to find outside of a roller coaster.
Stick it in ‘Sport Boost’, watch the dash go red, stamp your foot and the effect of 536bhp and almost 800nm of torque immediately slam you back into your seat as you hold onto the wheel for dear life.
Surroundings become a blur and very quickly you’re searching out the brake pedal before things become licence-losing.
It is absolutely staggering. And best of all it’s done in true style, inside and out.
Yes, there are downsides – this is a very heavy car which eats into the battery range (BMW claims over 300 miles per charge, the reality is just shy of 200) and leg room in the back is a little cramped for an adult.
But bearing in mind a base model Tesla Model S is £73,990 you have to hand it to BMW for what they’ve produced with this first electric M car.
You’re not going to get strangers standing around a Model S taking photos of it. It’s not a conversation starter. It doesn’t have the beautiful interior of the i4 and while the charging network is undoubtedly better, this M50 will get to full in just 30 minutes on a fast charger.
Handling is light and accurate and the ride is supremely comfortable, especially in standard comfort mode and the soundproofing is incredible, you can barely hear any wind pass over the car.
This is not a cheap car, but it is a car that will feel like it’s worth every penny you spend on it.
It has pure ‘turnbackability’ which is a phrase I’ve coined that won’t catch on for wanting to have one last look at a car once you’ve locked it.
It’s more practical than you’d imagine thanks to the hatchback boot that has 470 litres of space, more than a Nissan Qashqai.
And most importantly, for the love of all that’s holy it is astonishingly fast. Addictively so.
It may not be a classic M3 or M4 with a V6 and a manual gearbox and all the noise that brings. But you can still buy those if you really want one.
This is the future and it’s a lot of fun if you have the money.
Model: BMW i4 M50
Price: From £63,000
Range (Manufacturer stated) 318 miles per charge
Real world (190 miles)
Charge time: 30 minutes (fast charge) 1.5 hours (wall box) 12 hours (three pin)
0-60mph: 3.8 seconds (est)
Top Speed: 140mph
Boot space: 470 litres (seats up)