BMW M customers are spoiled for choice considering there haven’t been so many models to pick from. Take for example the M3/M4 lineup, with manual and automatic transmissions as well as RWD and AWD setups. Then there’s the i4 M50, which technically isn’t a fully fledged M car, but it can play in the big leagues.

In a past versus future showdown, Carwow lined up the M3 against the top-tier i4. Mat Watson did get behind the wheel of the hotter Competition model, but didn’t truly even the odds. Why? Because the Isle of Man Green sedan is the RWD model rather than the xDrive. The all-paw is 0.4 seconds quicker off the line than the tail-happy version, hitting 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.5 seconds.

Even without AWD, the M3 Competition Sedan is still quite the porker, at 1,730 kilograms (3,813 pounds). Even so, it still carries a whopping 485 kg (1,069 lbs) less fat than its adversary. On the flip side, the electric gran coupe does have more power and its full torque arrives virtually instantly. On top of that, it’s all-wheel drive.

The two cars have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, which are ingredients for an exciting drag race. The M3 Competition and i4 M50 put on quite a show in all duels, except for the brake test at the end. Needless to say, the EV’s colossal weight of 2,215 kg (4,883 lbs) reared its ugly head as the lighter sedan came to a full stop much sooner.

We won’t spoil the results of the races, but we’ll say you can see where ICEs and EVs really shine. The M3 Sedan kept pulling at higher speeds while the i4 M50 was much quicker off the line. At the end of the day, it all depends on what you want from a sports sedan. There will come a time when combustion engines will be no more, so enjoy them while you still can.

On the other hand, it’s likely only a matter of time before electric cars will catch up in terms of high-speed performance. With continuous advancements in battery tech, we’re hoping engineers will be able to trim the fat…

[Source: Carwow / YouTube]