BMW M has revealed that an i4-derived, high-performance electric prototype is currently undergoing testing.
This vehicle utilizes four electric motors to power all four wheels.
Even though the prototype has already been put through simulations and bench tests, this new round of testing will put it through real-world conditions.
If this i4-based prototype with a new quad-motor drivetrain is any indication, BMW’s M high-performance division is taking another step toward electrification. Given the prototype’s all-wheel-drive configuration and four electric motors, it’s possible that future M EVs will be much more powerful than the 536-horsepower i4 M50 and the 610-horsepower iX M60. Each of these makes use of two motors.
The test mule is based on the i4 M50, but its wheel wells have been widened to accommodate different front and rear axles. BMW has not revealed the precise design of the future M EV. A number of structural elements from the M3 and M4 were incorporated into its design to increase its torsional rigidity. Prior to hitting the road, prototypes were put through their paces on test rigs and computer simulators.
BMW claims that having a motor at each wheel will allow for more nuanced tuning thanks to the ability to instantly send power to individual wheels. The pedal position, steering angle, longitudinal acceleration, and lateral acceleration are all fed into a central control unit, which then distributes the power to the appropriate motors.
The exact release date of this new powertrain is still unknown, but EVs have already started to shake up BMW’s performance hierarchy. Our acceleration tests showed that the i4 M50, which is not intended to be a full-bore M model on par with the M3 and M4, was already very close to its gas-powered siblings. The i4 M50’s 3.3-second 0-60 mph time was faster than the M3 Competition with rear-wheel drive and was only 0.5-second slower than the M4 Competition xDrive with all-wheel drive. Evidently, we are eager to see what a BMW M EV with four motors can do.
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