IT was meant as a celebratory expression of BMW’s powerful M branding for its beefed-up range of cars. For 50 years, the sound of muscular engines and the sight of dashing forms raced through the BMW leitmotif: Sheer driving pleasure.
In a world that has moved along rapidly of late, the challenge is to maintain the M’s muscularity in the face of electrification, sustainability and energy management.
How will the electrified silencing of the roaring engines continue to capture the imagination and fire up the enthusiasm for a quieter muscle car? I guess it needs to make more noise in other areas.
The by-invitation BMW Experience Days 2022, taking place from 15-17 July at the Changi Exhibition Centre, was the backdrop for the unveiling of the first BMW i4 M50, the M range’s first fully electric vehicle, which ran alongside other M models.
As part of its 50th year anniversary, a special badge and aesthetics have been revealed, which will be on 50 cars in Singapore. The cost of that privilege, varies, but will be eye-watering cosmetics, generally.
A regular production BMW i4 M50 would shock you for $412,888 and the 50 Jahre model would zap another $29,000.
The benefit of events like these Experience Days is the opportunity to test cars in one go. In this case, seven different M models thrown together in an unfair exhibition of comparative pace, agility and power.
But, it allows you to appreciate the differing characteristics of the SUVs versus the coupes and grand coupes; the eagerness to wheelspin in some cars, while others deliver a more gripping drive.
The i4 M50 has two electric motors that deliver 400kW of power and nearly 800Nm of torque. When run against the other models, the instant torque made a huge difference as Hans Zimmer’s whoosh took you into warp speed with a jolt.
0-100kmh in 3.9 seconds is fast. You tend to forget there isn’t the accompanying sounds of an internal combustion engine, be it screaming, thundering or roaring. Those got left behind soon after the flag off.