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Wednesday / 19 June 2024
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BMW’s best-selling M car

BMWs have always been a fan-favourite among automotive enthusiasts, and South Africans are clearly no different given how seven out of the top 20 most-searched-for cars in the country share the iconic blue-and-white badge.

However, it would seem that a standard BMW is not enough for certain motorists, as the brand’s M division saw enormous success in 2022 with as many as 177,257 units delivered to new owners across the globe recording an 8.4% increase compared to 2021.

While the automaker has not revealed exact sales numbers, it did confirm that 2022’s most-popular M-branded model was none other than the i4 M50 – indicating a positive outlook for electric adoption in the years to come.

BMW i4 M50

BMW’s well-liked electric four-door runs on an 83.9kWh battery hooked up to a pair of front and rear electric motors, leading to a net result of 400kW and 795Nm being transmitted to the road via an all-wheel-drive system.

Thanks to this enormous torque figure, the i4 is able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.9 seconds and can keep going up to a limited top speed of 225km/h.

As far as range is concerned, the M50 can travel for 510km before needing a top-up and when it does it is expected to take roughly eight hours on a standard 11kW AC plug. Switching to a 200kW DC fast charger, on the other hand, will cut down the charge cycle to approximately 36 minutes.

Looking to the interior, the German sedan is equipped with leather upholstery, heated seats, three-zone climate control, a Harman Kardon sound system, lane-keep assist, hill assist, blind-spot monitoring, keyless start and entry, active cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and route monitoring with real-time traffic information.

It also makes use of the automaker’s dual-screen layout for the dashboard, comprising a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 14.9-inch infotainment unit.

In South Africa, the BMW i4 M50 has a starting price of R1,637,900.

What’s in store for BMW M in 2023

It was recently announced by the German carmaker that the limited-edition M3 CS will be arriving in South Africa in March 2023, with only 20 units being made available for local customers.

This special-edition M is powered by a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo drivetrain which ups the ante by 30kW over the standard models for a new cap of 405kW and 650Nm.

Combined with an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox, the CS is capable of rocketing to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds and standard fitment of the M driver’s package guarantees a top speed of 302km/h.

At last year’s triumphant return of the M Fest, the automaker further confirmed that a variety of new models are coming to South Africa in 2023, at least two bearing the coveted M badge.

The first of these is the BMW XM, the first original M car in 44 years, which is scheduled to reach our showrooms in the second quarter of 2023.

The XM is rather unusual compared to your standard BMW as not only was it the first model designed solely by the M department since 1978, it also sports a divisive design and will ship with a plug-in hybrid powertrain – another first for an M model.

The battery-incentivized setup consists of a 4.4-litre, V8 engine married to an electric motor, giving the luxurious SUV an absurd power ceiling of 480kW and 800Nm.

This means that, despite its bulky appearance, the XM will keep up with the likes of athletic sedans just fine with a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.3 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.

It will also be capable of driving for 88km on pure electricity, courtesy of a 25kWh battery module.

The other big announcement to come out of M Fest was that of the next-generation M2, the two-door coupe boasting an all-new design both inside and out, which is expected to make its local debut in the third quarter of 2023.

Under the hood of the new M2 lies a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo engine providing 338kW and 550Nm, which pairs with an eight-speed automatic gearbox driving the rear wheels.

Consequently, the coupe is able to sprint to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds and max out at 250km/h, though an optional M Driver’s Package will raise this limit to 285km/h.

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