Accommodation up front is quite good, although it’s compromised in the rear by a raised floor, required for the packaging of the battery, and a sloping roof line that robs head room. Boot space, meanwhile, is put at 470 litres, extending to 1290 litres when the split folding rear seats are stowed. Unlike a Taycan, there is no provision for luggage storage under the bonnet.
An electric motor on the front axle produces 254bhp and 317lb ft and another on the rear generates 308bhp and 269lb ft. Combined, they give 536bhp and 586lb ft, which is 33bhp and 107lb ft more than the latest M4 Competition can deliver. Energy comes from an 80.7kWh lithium ion battery that operates at 400V for a claimed range of 259-324 miles.
There is a familiarity about driving the i4 that will no doubt appeal to existing BMW owners. The controls and operation of many interior features are very similar to those of the marque’s combustion models.
The throttle calibration is sweetly balanced, mating excellent pedal weighting with a good degree of sensitivity. In combination with the responsive nature of the electric motors, this makes for engaging properties even at lower speeds in an urban environment in Comfort mode, where the M50 operates almost exclusively in rear-wheel drive using its rear motor alone.
However, it’s at higher speeds on the open road where the i4 really comes alive. Here, the powertrain combines the efforts of both motors to deliver rapid four-wheel-drive performance. Despite the motors being asked to haul well over two tonnes, the i4 proves very rapid when dialled into Boost mode. So configured, it is claimed to crack 0-62mph in just 3.9sec.