It was August 2022 when BMW M kicked off testing of a high-performance electric car worthy of the “world’s most powerful letter.” The prototype is disguised as an i4 M50 but with fender flares and a more aggressive front end inherited from the M4 CSL. It has now been spotted again while undergoing cold-weather testing somewhere in northern Europe.

It must’ve been a fun day at work for the BMW test driver as we can see the widebody i4 dancing on snow while tackling corners. We’ve already learned the quad-motor electric beast can perform a tank turn, which refers to a 180-degree spin on the spot to echo – yes, you’ve guessed it – a tank. As strange as the profile might look with those mismatched wheels, it’s a common occurrence for prototypes not to have the same alloy design on both axles.

We’re already familiar with that M livery and the colorful retro-flavored anniversary BMW roundels introduced in 2022 when the M division celebrated its 50th anniversary. Those badges were available for a limited time on all M cars as well as lesser models equipped with the M Sport Package. Other details we can spot include the carbon side mirror caps and radars/sensors affixed to the roof.

Although the i4 is getting a Life Cycle Impulse later this year, we wouldn’t hold our breath for the zero-emission 4 Series Gran Coupe to get a fully-fledged M version. The first M electric car is unlikely to arrive before the first Neue Klasse models. BMW has already confirmed an electric M3 is due later this decade, and chances are that will be the first true M EV unless an M version of the next-gen iX3 precedes it.

Chances are this disguised prototype serves as a testbed to perfect the technology for a production-intent electric model from BMW M. The division’s CEO Frank Van Meel has previously said the engineers are exploring twin-motor, rear-wheel drive and quad-motor, all-wheel drive layouts. The electric M3 is supposedly coming out in 2027 with around 700 hp even though the M branch has said it already has the tech for a one-megawatt (1,341 horsepower) car.

Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube