The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown - story fullscreen Fullscreen

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown

The all-electric BMW i4 M50 challenges the BMW M3 Competition. Can it make a case for performance EVs, or will the M3 spank it to oblivion?

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BMW is gradually expanding its EV lineup and one of the newest additions is the BMW i4 M50. This is currently the closest thing to an all-electric equivalent of the BMW M3 Competition, which is why CarWow decided to pit these two together, for a series of drag races.

BMW M3 Competition

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown
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The BMW M3 Competition relies on the tried-and-tested 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine, which puts out 510 horsepower and 478 pound-feet (650 Nm). While all-wheel drive is optional, this particular one sends power to the rear wheels only, through a ZF eight-speed automatic. The M3 Competition tips the scales at 3,814 pounds (1,730 kg) and, in the UK, starts at £75,660.

BMW i4 M50

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown
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Despite the i4 M50 not being a full M-car, it packs 544 horsepower and 585 pound-feet (794 Nm), from its twin-electric motor setup, which also grants all-wheel-drive capabilities. However, it’s quite a bit heavier than the M3 Competition, tipping the scales at 4,883 pounds (2,215 kg). Even more surprising is the price - £63,905 – which makes it less expensive than the M3 Competition.

The Drag Race

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown
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It’s best two out of three, this time, as both cars seem to be quite evenly matched. The i40 M50 demonstrates, over and over, the benefits of instant low-end torque while the M3 Competition thrives on the top end. With an equally good start, however, the BMW M3 managed to win two of the races, by 0.2 seconds, finishing the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds, compared to the i4 M50’s 11.9 seconds.

That said, the electric car managed to get the jump on the rear-wheel-drive M3, in the second race, allowing it to barely win one race. Interestingly enough, the i4 M50 also experienced quite a bit of wheelspin at the front axle.

Roll Race

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown
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As before, three rolling races were done. The first two were from 50 mph in comfort and sport mode while the third race was from 30 mph, favoring the EV a bit more. From 50 mph, in comfort mode, the i4 M50 rocketed ahead, but the M3 Competition stopped the bleeding surprisingly quick. It also overtook the i4 and won the race.

In sport and manual mode, the M3 Competition won more convincingly, but it was the last rolling race that was the most interesting. EVs are incredibly quick from a dig or low-speed roll and the i4 M50 almost teleported itself ahead of the M3 Competition. But while it stayed in the lead for most of the race, the M3 Competition still caught up in the end.

Brake test

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown
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The brake test from 100 mph (161 km/h) bore surprising results. Despite the BMW M3 Competition weighing significantly less, it was the i4 M50 that won the test, managing to stop almost two car lengths shorter than its internal combustion engine counterpart. Matt chalked it up to the combination of incredible brakes combined with regenerative braking.

Final thoughts

The BMW i4 M50 Challenges The BMW M3 For The Performance Sedan Crown
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In the end, both cars showed exactly what they are the best at. To no one’s surprise, the BMW i4 M50 was incredibly strong off the line and from low-speeds, but the M3 Competition is lighter and has all the revs to play with, allowing it to pull hard for much longer. That said, we can’t help, but wonder, what if BMW made a full-fledged M-version of the BMW i4?


Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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