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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
According to Pieter Nota member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands, Sales:
With its sporty looks, best-in-class driving dynamics and zero local emissions, the BMW i4 is a true BMW
:rolleyes:
 

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True BMW partly because of zero local emissions? Silly me thought BMWs through history have been equipped with carburetors and later injectors. Oh well, my bad I guess.
It's all politics now, isn't it.

Still, looking forward to receiving my sporty looking, flat out gorgeous M50 in about a year or so.
 
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It's a tough one. BMWs have not all been equal, just like me (!) they had their periods of overweightness and of athleticism. Most people would agree that the current M2 comp, M3 comp and M4 comp, and even the M5, ARE true to what BMW stands for, while most of their SUVs, well, not so much. The current 2 to 7 series are a solid offering, but the opinions diverge quite a bit about their M Performance models (M with 3.digits), due to the extra weight, less comfortable suspension, and difficult to pin down handling compromise. Yet I happen to think the latest car-based ones eg M235, M340, M440 ARE true BMWs, with decent handling, great engines, and the luxury/performance middle ground that they carved out between, say, Porsche and M-B. The less said about the pseudo M SUVs, the better. So both versions of the i4 would qualify in that scale, in my book, and the first driving impressions of youtubers on the i4 M50 seem to peg it closer (but still not as good as) the M3comp and M4comp than the M340/M440. I don't think there is an absolute here, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like this definition of "what BMW does best":
Robust and smooth power delivery paired with responsive and communicative steering. A sensible, but still luxurious feeling interior. The overall “just the right size” dimensions and classically good-looking proportions.
source
 

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@Mycroft , I love your definition, but, unfortunately, per most journalists and reputable you tubers, (I'm not good enough a driver yet, though I did sign up for M-School when I take delivery of the i4 M50 in Spartanburg; I trust Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Thomas Majchrzak at Autogefühl, Mat Watson at CarWow, and Thomas Holland and James Engelsman at ThrottleHouse), the "communicative steering" is where BMW has been failing since they transitioned from hydraulic to electric power steering, with the notable exceptions of the M2Comp, M3Comp and M4Comp. From what I watched and read, the i4 M50 has a precise but somewhat uncommunicative steering. Sad.

I like this definition of "what BMW does best":

source
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Mycroft i4 M50 has a precise but somewhat uncommunicative steering. Sad.
I imagine that with so much power and so much weight, the M50 has to do a lot of the work to stay controllable, which could explain the precise yet uncommunicative driving

This lack of feeling and all the automatic aids worry me a bit, I don't like not understanding what's going on with a machine, especially with a car!
 

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@Mycroft , same here. The primary issue reported by Thomas Majchrzak (Autogefühl) is that when accelerating at max rate, it unloads the front end so much that the steering goes vague, not a huge deal in my book. However, both Thomas and Mat Watson (CarWow) say that when making turns, you can still place the car and there is a good turn-in, you just don't have feed back in your hands. This seems similar to Thomas Holland's comments (ThrottleHouse, testing an M440i x-drive though), where you have to rely on your buttocks to feel what the car is doing. So your reaction in case of oversteer may be delayed a bit, hopefully not enough to spin out, but that's the reason I'm going to M-School upon receiving the car.


I imagine that with so much power and so much weight, the M50 has to do a lot of the work to stay controllable, which could explain the precise yet uncommunicative driving

This lack of feeling and all the automatic aids worry me a bit, I don't like not understanding what's going on with a machine, especially with a car!
 

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@Mycroft , I love your definition, but, unfortunately, per most journalists and reputable you tubers, (I'm not good enough a driver yet, though I did sign up for M-School when I take delivery of the i4 M50 in Spartanburg; I trust Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Thomas Majchrzak at Autogefühl, Mat Watson at CarWow, and Thomas Holland and James Engelsman at ThrottleHouse), the "communicative steering" is where BMW has been failing since they transitioned from hydraulic to electric power steering, with the notable exceptions of the M2Comp, M3Comp and M4Comp. From what I watched and read, the i4 M50 has a precise but somewhat uncommunicative steering. Sad.
M-School coming to IMS! Just announced this week. Great location and "in my backyard." Would be cool to have the delivery service there next year if it's constructed in time.
 

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@teamzans , sorry to rain on your parade, but as of today, BMW only does the Performance Center delivery in Greer, South Carolina, even though they have M-Schools there (actually next door in Spartanburg) and also in Thermal, California. So I'm not sure that the M-School opening in IMS will guarantee that they will also deliver car there, just like they don't in California. Hopefully though they may put a bigger operation in IMS due to its strategic position to serve the NorthEast.

M-School coming to IMS! Just announced this week. Great location and "in my backyard." Would be cool to have the delivery service there next year if it's constructed in time.
 

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@teamzans , sorry to rain on your parade, but as of today, BMW only does the Performance Center delivery in Greer, South Carolina, even though they have M-Schools there (actually next door in Spartanburg) and also in Thermal, California. So I'm not sure that the M-School opening in IMS will guarantee that they will also deliver car there, just like they don't in California. Hopefully though they may put a bigger operation in IMS due to its strategic position to serve the NorthEast.
Fair enough. There's always hope!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This guy did useful comments:

it's "a true BMW" :
  • linear power delivery
  • rigid chassis
  • instantaneous and constant torque (it's a true EV)
  • precise steering
  • efficient suspensions
  • good balance between tire width and F/R weight distribution

but compared to the M3 / M4:
  • the weight is a disadvantage
  • you can't go as fast on the curves

His conclusion: made for road, not for tracks
 

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I will use this as an all in one compromise for now, and advance to getting a drivers car once the universe recognizes the fruits of my labor and decides to give me more money. Then I’ll hopefully buy an E39 M3 or go back to a simple Porsche NA rwd for the summer or when I don’t want to have numb semi-autonomous comfort.
For me, a BMW M-car is enthusiastic, precise fun, where engineering meets customer in a package revolving two thirds about classic Motorsport and one third practical form factor.

While I’ll never enjoy an electric car the same way as an ice performance car, I am looking forward to simple things such as memory buttons on the seat so I don’t have to come to my car to find the seat almost inside the steering wheel and the mirrors looking down into the ground. I don’t think anyone in BMW look at this car as anything but a compromise, but it’s acceptable for the price for me, and a compromise is much better than what the competitors (ex Audi Porsche) are making.
 

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Very nice video, perfectly in line with similar reviews from Autogefühl, CarWow, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, and Road & Track. The i4 M50 drives like an "authentic BMW" on public roads, including the twisties, with good body control, superb acceleration, precise steering, and overall driving pleasure; however, it is NOT a track car like the M2 Competition or M3 Competition. So it's leaning a bit more towards GT cars such as the M8 (and possibly the M4 Competition - the jury is still out on that one), which is fine with me. I don't intend to spend more than an hour per month on a track, if that, so as @Inception mentioned, as a daily driver this is definitely THE BEST electrical car for its price range in the market for handling, bar none. I do intend however to take the standard 861M 19" wheels, they come with 245/40 in front and 255/40 in the back (49/51 F/R assuming grip is proportional to width, probably not accurate but I never saw real data on it), splits the difference with the 48/52 weight distribution of the car vs. the optional 868M 20 inch wheel with its 255/35 front and 285/30 rear tires (47/53 - that's what the reviewers above had) towards less understeer, plus it will be more comfortable, increase marginally the range and cost $2500 less. BMW's top tires pricing does not always gives the best match (my 135i also had 215/40 and 245/35 staggered wheels (47/53) negating its almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution, so it understeered almost like an Audi, what were they thinking?), and I hate the additional fender tack-on to accommodate the wider tires. Also 2 years with a "Fiata" (a Miata disguised as a Fiat 124 Spider) taught me that ultimate grip does not equate with ultimate fun. Will see how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Summary of a enthusiastic test drive, the driving looks really great!

BMW i4 M50: driving pleasure intact

  • Driving position is perfect, the consistent steering is almost as informative as that of the combustion engine versions
  • Straight line, Sport Boost mode engaged, and foot on the floor. What the hell is this crazy thing? What acceleration! What brutality!
  • When entering corners, you can feel the extra weight compared to the ICEs. But we still appreciate the perfect balance of the masses as well as the typically BMW behavior.
  • Pneumatic damping ensures that the car remains perfectly level even under full acceleration, damping comfort is excellent
  • By comparison, a Tesla Model 3 Performance is a little more agile and fun to drive in corners, but you have to hold the wheel tightly at high speeds on the Autobahn. The spirit is different. The i4 is simply less radical, more serious.
  • In practice, with good eco-driving in EcoPro mode, we managed to go under 20 kWh / 100 km. This is far from being exceptional. Especially as the weight calls to order at the slightest difference in altitude, because we were more likely to be around 25 kWh / 100 km on average.

Overall, this i4 is surprisingly harmonious. For everyday driving, it is - in its class - the most pleasant 100% electric model on the market. And yet it is also one of the most sensational. So it's definitely an excellent choice. If not the best.
 

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This guy did useful comments:

it's "a true BMW" :
  • linear power delivery
  • rigid chassis
  • instantaneous and constant torque (it's a true EV)
  • precise steering
  • efficient suspensions
  • good balance between tire width and F/R weight distribution

but compared to the M3 / M4:
  • the weight is a disadvantage
  • you can't go as fast on the curves

His conclusion: made for road, not for tracks
Hey that guy come from Montreal, Quebec, my country. He has a very good reputation and he make with others journalists a book every year on new models coming! Well done Mr. Gelinas (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
(1 month later)


I still haven't driven a BMW in my life, but here's what I understood about a "true BMW":
  • low position
  • sudden acceleration
  • sticks to the road, does not overturn in small curves
  • no "boat" / inertia feeling
  • precise steering wheel
  • firm suspensions
  • car designed for the driver
  • car not well perceived / scares people


which is all I'm looking for 😁
 

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(1 month later)


I still haven't driven a BMW in my life, but here's what I understood about a "true BMW":
  • low position
  • sudden acceleration
  • sticks to the road, does not overturn in small curves
  • no "boat" / inertia feeling
  • precise steering wheel
  • firm suspensions
  • car designed for the driver
  • car not well perceived / scares people


which is all I'm looking for 😁
It turns the driver into a chick magnet.

Glasses Chin Vision care Goggles Eyebrow
 

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For 18 years I drove a Pontiac Trans Am because I wanted an affordable American Sports car. Then I decided I wanted a little class. My dream car at the time was a MB CLK convertible back in 2001. Couldn't afford it so I settled for a C class. Then in 2012 I traded it for a used 2009 CLK Convertible. In 2015 I switched for my first BMW, a 2016 435i convertible. Why did I go from Mercedes to BMW? Two things:
1. The telematics and infotainment were far superior to anything Mercedes had at the time Better GPS, Better updates, more features. Everything seemed more intelligently done.
2. Check out this video from :55 to 1:15 This shows BMW engineering at its best. Its what tipped the scales for me to switch form MB to BMW.
 

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(1 month later)
I still haven't driven a BMW in my life, but here's what I understood about a "true BMW":
  • low position
  • sudden acceleration
  • sticks to the road, does not overturn in small curves
  • no "boat" / inertia feeling
  • precise steering wheel
  • firm suspensions
  • car designed for the driver
  • car not well perceived / scares people
which is all I'm looking for 😁
I drove (and autocrossed) a 135i for 6 years, and all of your points are absolutely correct, except may be the "scares people" part, more like "provokes irrational envy and hatred". The suspension is not as firm as people think, what it is is that it does not rebound; it rounds up the harshness (except when you actually hit the bump stop), and you feel it once and gone, no wallowing of any kind, and yet the absorption is a lot better than a lot of "softer" cars because the bump is not allowed to overshoot. My BMW also had a straight six and a manual transmission, so you feel totally connected with what the car is doing, from the engine to the wheels, the car accelerates, brakes, on the exact moment you touch the pedal, shift or turn the steering, and it does exactly what you want it to do, no more, no less.

With a rear wheel drive as I had, you can also place the car midturn just with the throttle, and drift at will, that's the part I'm not sure the i4 M50 will be able to, though so far the tests have been fairly positive, may be not the drifting which is frankly overrated (it's illegal on the road and inefficient on the track). However, even without a locking differential, it still did not have the annoying chirp every time you apply power exiting a turn that you get e.g. on a Genesis, not sure how BMW does that.

Anyway, yes you will LOVE the i4 M50, based on everything I saw and heard so far, and your own comments about driving. You also might want to look into the local BMW club and the FFSA | Fédération Française du Sport Automobile, after I bought my BMW I could not wait to get onto a closed circuit to have more fun with the car...
 
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