i4 M50 Demo: e36 M3 / e39 M5 Owner’s 24 Hour Test Drive Printouts

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My salesperson was kind enough to offer to take the i4M50 home for 24 hours. I immediately seized the opportunity. It’s a stripper that’s Portmao Blue, black Sensatec interior with 19-inch 860M wheels. He was fully loaded with 240 miles of range.

Although I drove the car in the UDE, you don’t have a lot of time with the car and iDrive to fully get used to everything it offers. I find iDrive 8 very easy to use and navigate. There are a lot of options, but I think the menus are grouped together very well. I know the whole climate control debate, but it goes away quickly for me because the temperature settings are always showing. Smart execution.

Driving this car is a blast! I stayed in Sport Boost aka “Hooligan Mode” the entire time because why not? It’s not my car and come back in 24 hours! I took it on the highway, hit the ground and within seconds I was doing 110mph! Yeah, it’s ridiculously close. I know I can’t drive like this all the time when I have my car because I’ll end up in jail. I love the ‘B’ mode. I didn’t think I’d like it because I used it on a friend’s Tesla and wasn’t too impressed with it. It just seems natural and perfectly slows the car down when coming to a stop. I can imagine this will reduce brake fatigue in stop-start traffic. It’s good not to go from pedal to brake all the time. I was able to stop by a friend’s house and asked him to come up. I put it on launch control and took off. He was screaming like a child for me to stop! You get that feeling like a roller coaster is being catapulted out of nowhere at incredible speed. I was still nauseous after an hour. Instant torque and speed are very addictive.

Driving: I live on the north shore of Long Island where there are a lot of hills and a lot of winding roads. I’m pleasantly surprised at how well planted the car feels for a 5,000-pound car. I would probably challenge anyone to find a car at that weight that could have the same handling. It transfers weight very well with a bit of understeer. I won’t be taking this car to a track so I know the M3/M4 is a better alternative for that. The only thing that is very noticeable is the twist steering. The front end lifts up a bit and moves like a squirrel on a hard pitch. Hopefully they can fix that later.

Steering – I gave up trying to compare EPS cars to power steering racks. There just isn’t the same feel and response that I get from my M3 and M5. I don’t think it can compare to the older M cars. However, I think the steering is very good on this car, especially in Sport Boost. It doesn’t feel as numb as in comfort mode. Once again, quite a feat for such a heavy car.

I was very sad about having to leave the car this morning. However, she was happy that she was able to at least get a taste of the car and the technology before she got mine. I jumped back into my M5 and fired up that glorious S65 engine. I enjoyed rowing my own gears on the way home. Is one better than the other? Hard to compare. They are both fantastic cars in their own respect. I will say that I love the i4. I think it does almost everything very well. It was hard to find many faults. Anyone on the fence about ordering one should rest assured that BMW got this EV right for its first attempt at a sedan. Especially when you compare it to that iPad on wheels. I know Tesla fans are hardcore, but there’s no reason to choose that over BMW. Now, the wait will kill me…!

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