BMW i4 M50 Breaks Record for Production EVs, You'll Never Guess Where

BMW i4 M50 6 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW i4 M50BMW i4 M50BMW i4 M50BMW i4 M50BMW M4 Competition
BMW’s M Division is turning 50 years old this month, and they are celebrating it in a number of different ways. One of them included setting loose an i4 M50 in the southern part of the world, where it managed to set a record for production electric vehicles.
In the hands of a journo, the zero-emission model from the Munich auto firm was put through its paces at the Simola Hillclimb in South Africa, in the Class A8. The i4 M50 made its way up the 1.9-km (1.2-mile) long course in less than 50 seconds last weekend. When the checkered flag dropped, it set a time of 49.231 seconds.

Building on the success of the BMW iX, the i4 M50 showcases the next step in the expansion of the BMW Group’s electromobility offering in South Africa,” commented the Group’s chief of the local Communications and External Affairs Division, Deena Govender. “While we were impressed with the car’s performance at Simola, we were most excited to see the impact it had on some of the country’s biggest motorsport fans assembled in Knysna on the weekend.

Based on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, which was introduced in South Africa in late 2021, the BMW i4 is the brand’s first battery-electric model focused on driving dynamics. In the M50 configuration, it rocks a standard xDrive all-wheel drive system, boasting a combined 536 hp (544 ps / 400 kW) and 586 lb-ft (795 Nm) of torque from its two electric motors, coupled to a single-speed transmission. From 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph), it needs only 3.9 seconds, which makes it one tenth of a second slower than the ICE-powered M3 Competition.

Backing up the pictured i4 M50, which was flown in for the event ahead of its local launch, was the M4 Competition. The premium compact sports coupe was also set loose on the course, with former touring car champ, Dean Joubert, behind the wheel.

The 503 hp (510 ps / 375 kW) and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque machine, which uses a twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six mill, doing the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in less than 4 seconds, and topping out at 180 mph (290 kph) when ordered with the M Driver’s Pack, didn’t get the chance to prove its worth. The car was actually disqualified from the Class A4, after clipping a cone on its final run. BMW says that before this happened, it “put on a gutsy performance.

Taking the Class A4 win was a 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo S, which posted 44.562 seconds. Despite the impressive result, it turned out to be half a second slower than a Nissan GT-R, which has held on to the record since 2019.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
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After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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