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Here's What We Learnt From The BMW M Experience Day 2022

It's BMW M's 50th anniversary and what better way to celebrate than on the track?
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
20 Jul 2022

BMW M celebrates its 50th birthday this year, so they booked out Changi Exhibition Centre for a day of hooning for us journalists. Yee-ha.

It’s the first driving experience in Singapore since the pandemic, which exhilarated well over 500 participants across the three days. Drool-worthy classic models like the BMW M1 and E30 M3 were on display, but also new models like the BMW M 50 Jahre Singapore-exclusive editions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BMW M.

The drive was split into two parts - a gymkhana course and a drag ‘strip’. On the gymkhana we had the M240i Coupe, the M235i Gran Coupe and the M3 Competition. Competing neck-in-neck for the acceleration and braking are the i4 M50, M440i Gran Coupe, X3 M40i and X4 M40i.

But of course, we learnt a lot more than just having fun. It’s the first time we got behind the wheel of the i4 M50, too, albeit only tested exclusively for acceleration and braking only. It’s the first electrified high-performance model in the history of BMW M GmbH.

Here’s what we gleaned from the half day drive of a myriad of BMW M models.

It’s based on a front-wheel drive chassis, but it’s more precise and agile than its rear-wheel drive based cousins. Light on its feet, eager through the slalom course and tidy in a ‘roundabout’ and emergency lane change, it is way more ‘BMW’ than expected. What a shocker! I just wish it had a more enthusiastic move-off from standstill, and a sweeter exhaust note.

The pleasant surprise came from the M235i Gran Coupe, which drives really sharply.

The M240i Coupe is a beautiful road car, but unravels a little on the gymkhana.

In our road test of the car, it impressed with its poise and maturity. On the gymkhana however, there is more understeer than expected and it feels like there is not an insignificant amount of weight to manage. There’s plenty of power and still sounds great, though.

The M3 Competition meets expectations, but also feels heavier than an M3 should.

An M3 is an M3. Of course it would do well on the gymkhana! But does it exceed any expectations? Not really. A fine thing, for sure, and still a very sharp and precise M car despite being a bigger car with every generation.

The i4 M50 is definitely faster than the M440i Gran Coupe in a drag race. Definitely.

The acceleration is a bit of a jolt when felt for the first time. Really rather impressive and has an urge for speed that hasn’t been in any other BMW BEV before. It can also brake just as well. We wanted to try it on the gymkhana, but it looks like we’d have to wait for another time!

The X3 M40i and X4 M40i are pretty much evenly matched in a drag race.

No surprises there. Both cars have no launch control but still enjoy a good run.

Credits: Text by James Wong; Photos by BMW

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