For around $70,000 you can today pick up two very different M-badged BMW sports sedans: the M3 and the i4 M50. One has a raspy turbocharged straight six that makes up to 503 horsepower, while the other relies on a pair of electric motors that together make 536 horsepower.
The i4 also wins on torque, with 586 pound-feet (795 Nm) compared to the M3 Competition’s 479 pound-feet (650 Nm), but it’s also around 1,000 pounds heavier, weighing in at 4,883 pounds (the M3 Competition weighs 3,814 pounds). And on paper it all seems to even out - both vehicles have the same claimed acceleration time to 60 mph of 3.7 seconds (or 3.9 seconds to 100 km/h).
Carwow drag raced these two models and the on-paper result was reflected in their real-world acceleration. At least the first part of the race, because as speed builds, the i4’s weight starts to drag it back, and the M3 does start to gain a lead. The M3 takes two out of the three races, although the difference in acceleration isn’t as significant as the weight difference might have you believe.
Surprisingly, even in spite of the extra weight, the i4 M50 still stopped quicker than the M3 in the braking test from 100 mph. Had Carwow also compared them on a twisty road, though, the lighter ICE vehicle’s agility would have still shone through, although the i4 is still admirably agile for a car of that weight.
If you want to know what our own Tom Moloughney thought of the BMW i4 M50, make sure to check out our video review below.