Tire manufacturer Pirelli has just announced the BMW i4 M50 will now come from the factory equipped with its Pirelli P Zero Elect ultra high performance (UHP) EV-specific tires. These tires won’t be the same as the ones you can buy off the shelf, though, since they are actually a version that has been specially developed for this very quick electric BMW.
According to Pirelli, these tires differ from those designed for internal combustion-engined vehicles in several areas. Firstly, they are reinforced to be able to handle a heavier vehicle while still maintaining their shape even when the vehicle is being driven spiritedly and they also have a special rubber compound that strikes a balance between cornering performance and having relatively low rolling resistance.
You will be able to tell the BMW-specific version of this tire apart from the one you can get off the shelf by the star symbol displayed on the sidewall. This is how BMW-specific tires are usually marked, but this one just happens to also have the Elect logo signifying it is an EV tire.
When I drove the BMW i4 M50 around a twisty road last year, I was impressed by how much grip the vehicle had, thanks to the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tires that it was equipped with. However, those tires don’t really transmit a lot of feel through the steering, so hopefully these new Pirelli tires will bring back some tactility and make the BMW more enjoyable around a mountain road.
Pirelli also supplies this model of tire (although not the BMW-specific one) for the Polestar 2 BST Edition 270, the most aggressive version of the Chinese-Swedish electric sedan. There is a big difference between the handling characteristics of the regular Polestar 2 and the BST, part of that comes just from using these aggressive compound tires.