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Think electric sports cars won’t catch on? BMW’s best-selling M model this year could be the i4 M50 electric car

Think electric sports cars won't catch on?  BMW's best-selling M model this year could be the i4 M50 electric car

You may not be ready to accept that the future of automotive performance is electric, but BMW customers are flocking to the first M Performance EV, with the i4 M50 a chance to beat the M4 for the sales crown this year.

So says Brendan Michel, BMW Australia’s head of volume planning, who said: CarsGuide the global count for the i4 M50 is rapidly increasing.

“If they bring in enough production by the end of the year, the i4 M50 will probably be the best-selling M car this year – not here in Australia, because we just can’t get enough of it here,” he said.

“We have a very large order bank for that car right now, extending into next year.”

Read more about the BMW i-series

The i4 M50 was launched around the world earlier this year, and in Australia it carries a price tag of $124,900 excluding road use charges.

For the spend, buyers are treated to a twin-engine set-up with all-wheel grip and a combined output of 400 kW/795 Nm for a trip from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds.

The 84 kWh battery also allows for a range of approximately 510 km when tested to WLTP standards.

And the car that should beat the i4 M50 to first place? Undoubtedly, it is the banner of the entire M brand – the M4.

Launched in Australia in 2021, the M4 is available in three flavors, starting with the base, manual coupe for $158,500.

Power in the M4 comes from a 3.0-litre turbo-inline six-cylinder petrol engine, producing 353 kW/550 Nm in the entry-level model, or 375 kW/650 Nm in Competition form.

The top-spec M4 Competition M xDrive accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds thanks to all-wheel traction and the eight-speed automatic transmission, but costs almost $50,000 more than the $174,500 i4 M50.

In fact, the i4 M50 in Australia is so popular that Mr Michel revealed that the wait for the all-electric model is “at least 12 months”.

So it looks like BMW performance enthusiasts are ready to embrace the electric future, and M is gearing up to launch its first full-fat all-electric model soon.

Last week, BMW revealed that it is testing a ‘concept’ vehicle with four electric motors and an integrated driving dynamics control system that could form the basis for the next generation of M products.

This probably points to the current M3 sedan, M3 Touring, M4 coupe and convertible, and the upcoming M2 as the last non-electrified M cars to come out of Munich.

Mr Michel said he sees growing demand for a BMW-branded electric performance car, even in Australia.

“I think the most important thing with our M customers is that they expect performance. And whether it be a combustion engine M3 or a future all-electric M car – both will perform,” he said.

“And I have no doubt that the guys in Munich, whichever direction they go, I’m pretty sure they will still do a lot in the M cars in the future.”