BMW M quad-motor EV prototype based on i4 M50 in development; front-end layout from G80 M3, G82 M4

BMW M quad-motor EV prototype based on i4 M50 in development; front-end layout from G80 M3, G82 M4

BMW is developing a four-motor prototype based on the i4 M50 four-door coupé to give the car the full-fledged M division treatment, which will employ its one-motor-per-wheel powertrain to apply infinitely variable, extremely precise and very quick distribution of drive torque, says the automaker.

Here, the development vehicle can be seen to used the front fascia of the G80 M3/G82 M4, and its front end employs the body strut layout adapted from the aforementioned M models to ensure especially high torsional rigidity for “extremely dynamic driving situations.” The radiator layout on this development EV is also based on that of the brand’s current high-performance models, it says.

The throttle load demand from the accelerator pedal can be signalled to each motor within milliseconds, and at a level of precision that would otherwise be “unattainable using conventional drive systems,” says BMW.

BMW M quad-motor EV prototype based on i4 M50 in development; front-end layout from G80 M3, G82 M4

A highly integrated control unit constantly monitors the driving conditions, keeping tabs on parameters such as throttle position, steering angle, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, wheel speeds and more, and the control unit calculates the ideal output transmission within milliseconds.

Signals are then transmitted to each of the four motors via a multi-plate clutch and differentials, which are able to execute the outputs immediately and precisely, BMW says. Each of the four motors will also function as a generator for energy recuperation when decelerating, thus feeding electricity back to the vehicle’s high-voltage battery.

Among the advantages of the powertrain’s quick responses are significantly higher cornering speeds, even on rain-soaked or snow-covered roads, says BMW. Also apparently possible with the four-motor configuration is a tank-turn burnout, according to footage within a video released by BMW M.

The i4 M50 that the four-motor M prototype is being developed from was unveiled in June last year, employing one motor on each axle. Combined and with the Sport Boost function, peak power and torque is 544 PS and 795 Nm, enabling a 0-100 km/h time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h. The i4 M50 arrived in Malaysia in May this year, priced from RM430,800 at launch.


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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.




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