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      08-03-2022, 09:52 AM   #1
unfoundnemo
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M8 to i4 M50

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Really I suppose this all started far prior to my M8... about 7 years ago, I got a BMW X6. This was my first real step above an entry-level level luxury car. I happened to also have a 4 series GC at the time; the 4 series was great and for a guy that tends to swap out cars often, it was the only BMW lease (out of 7 in as many years) that I kept through to lease-end, however, highway cruising in that generation just couldn't compare to smooth ride and sound isolation I experienced with my X6.

Another year or so went by and the kids were growing so I needed a car with 3 rows. The X7 wasn't yet available and I wasn't a fan of other options so picked up an X5 35d with the tiny third row when my 4 series lease was up... it did its job, but it was missing the DHP, multi-contour seats, and individual full leather, so it was a bit of a disappointment when directly compared to the X6 I still had at the time. I ended up getting rid of the X6 anyway since I didn't like having 2 SUVs and needed the 3rd row in my X5 and decided to treat myself to an F80 M3 as it was basically a second car at the time. I then upgraded my X5 to the X7 as soon as I could, and I had what felt like the perfect pairing at the time. The G07 X7 was just as smooth and quiet as my X6, and the F80 was fast, fun, and still practical being able to fit all 5 of us in a pinch.

I went along for a good year with that combo, then got into an accident with the X7. I had a rental, but of course I didn't really want to drive that so the M3 became our main family/trip hauler for about a month. Those F80 M3s with full leather were certainly a step up from an F3x, but it wasn't the car I wanted to be on the highway with 3 kids for over an hour. After I noticed this, I realized it wasn't even the car I wanted to be in on the highway by myself for over an hour. Once I got my X7 back, I immediately started looking toward an M550, M5, 8 series, etc. (along with the other German equivalents), to replace the M3... something that could still have a bit of a fun factor with performance, but more importantly be a good highway cruiser for myself that could fit 2+1 small child as the older kids growing meant we weren't going to try to squeeze them into the second car if we were all heading out. I figured I could get a way with a 2+2 coupe or another GC if it tickled my fancy since I didn't have to worry about it fitting 5. The G82 wasn't out yet and I was a bit skeptical of how it would be on the highway with my F80 experience anyway, so I decided not to wait and unload my M3 a little early. I kept hearing of this magical "trunk cash" on the 8 series, so I decided to look around. I was able to get out of my F80 M3 and into the F92 M8 at about the same payment (my F80 payment for inflated a bit because I rolled some negative equity into it).

The M8 certainly ticked all the boxes I was looking for, but something about it made me get bored of it quicker than any other BMW I had owned. It's possible it was just due to me getting a base car (without full leather) in Alpine White, possible it was a little too numb compared to the M3 so I couldn't feel the power the same, but what should have been my dream car just had me feeling a bit "bleh" within about 9 months. It wasn't horrible by any means as it still ticked all the boxes... but I started looking around last summer since my crazy deal at the end of 2020 in combination with the continuing supply chain issues already gave a bunch of positive equity. I didn't put a lot of time into it and the winter approached quickly so I decided to wait until the Spring, at which time I realized my X7 was going to be well over mileage by lease end and I wanted to replace it with a pre-LCI version so ended up ordering that car in April and taking Delivery on 5/2.

During the delivery of my X7, I let my CA know I was in the market for something new to replace the M8. At this point, my little one had a growth spurt and was complaining of the room in the back of the M8 Coupe, she actually only rode in the back of that car twice in the last two months as she was just big enough to get away with riding up front now. This really meant the car that was mainly my daily commuter that could also drop my daughter off at school in the morning, didn't necessarily need 4 seats (or if it did, shouldn't be in a 2+2 configuration), so my potential replacements really grew and I had to weigh the balances between fun and practicality. I thought about the i4 pretty quickly since I knew the new G2x/G8x cars were pretty quiet by this time and looked around in May/June, but pretty much gave up since I wasn't going to get anything without paying markup, not having the right options, or waiting. I still went to a UDE in July so got to drive the car on the autocross course along with a street drive. I certainly wasn't blown away by any means, but I was content that it could still be a viable replacement if I could ever get my hands on one. Last month I included the Z4 into my search and made some good progress a couple weeks ago. I was excited about getting back to more of a driver's car, but would have likely been annoyed that it wasn't a good highway cruiser again. Most of the Z4sI really wanted were not going to be available for delivery until October either so I gave up knowing that come the fall, I wouldn't be too excited about a roadster in PA. Anyway... I was heading on vacation and asked all the CAs I was working with to close the leads and leave me alone, figuring I might just wait until next spring to look around again as I certainly wasn't "settling" by keeping my M8.

The last few days have been a bit hectic... I came back from my trip on 7/30, got a dog on 7/31 (our previous pup fell ill over the 15 months and we had to say goodbye a couple of weeks ago), and I then received a call from my normal CA on 8/1 that they just got an i4 M50 off the truck that someone cancelled their delivery on. He sent me the build sheet Monday afternoon, they charged it during the day yesterday, and I took delivery last night!

Now for an actual comparison as the title suggests... I drove down with the M8 on a low-traffic highway enjoying the peaceful cruising I could achieve in that car. I started to worry if the i4 could compare with how quiet the cabin could be and decided to take some readings so I would at least have an objective point to compare against. I averaged 66.9 dB in the M8 while cruising at 75 MPH on a smooth road with the engine in comfort and exhaust sound off (74.8 dB in Sport+ with exhaust on if you're curious). That 66.9 dB reading was also coasting downhill for about 10 seconds, so basically just a road/wind noise measurement. I was happy to see on the way back, the i4 was averaging 63.4 dB in about the same spot.

In terms of power, the instant torque is what it is, 0-30 is pretty intoxicating, as is 60-70, 100-110, etc.., but you could certainly tell the difference in the power-to-weight ratio when you go beyond that as you see with the numbers. 0-60 might feel quicker than the numbers suggest as many mention due to that initial torque, but it's certainly not even close to what the M8 can deliver as it just can't pull as hard toward the top end. Obviously I knew this getting into it, but I would say it's still satisfying, just in a different way (likely a safer way as I don't feel the desire push that top end like I did in the M8).

The handling was a nice surprise for my drive one the way home. Obviously the M8 is a pretty heavy car with a bit of understeer. I certainly felt that understeer in the autocross course at the UDE with the i4 M50 (especially with regenerative braking off), but for real every day driving with on-ramps/off-ramps, etc., I felt like I could push it pretty hard and still maintain some limited body roll and good control. It has all-seasons on it that are brand new, so I didn't really want to push it too hard, but I felt they would at least by the main limiting factor. The weight of the car makes it feel just as stable as the M8 at those... higher... cruising speeds as well.

Overall, I'm happy with the switch. I have an EA fast charging station within 2 miles of my house, so I should have fun playing around in the upcoming weeks. I used it once this morning and went from 50-80% within 19 minutes.
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      08-03-2022, 06:53 PM   #2
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Nice car and nice review! Thanks for the post.
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      08-03-2022, 07:53 PM   #3
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Same color as mine, with red calipers. I got cognac interior. It is technically "in production" right now.
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      08-03-2022, 09:38 PM   #4
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Congrats OP! The car looks great.
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      08-03-2022, 10:34 PM   #5
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Nice review welcome to the m50 club :-)
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      08-03-2022, 11:02 PM   #6
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Curious but Did you think the electric car would be louder than the V8 for some reason? And still haven't explained why you went with the electric car when said it didn't do much for you (and I can agree with that after driving it and the iX last weekend).

Was it just the only thing available that was of any interest?
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      08-03-2022, 11:11 PM   #7
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Congratulations. I LOVE my M50, and I'm sure you will too. Have had two M6, M3 Comp. and a Z8 Alpina....and the i4 is as good or better than them all. BMW nailed it!
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      08-04-2022, 12:00 AM   #8
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Nice! Can you share the build? Looks awfully close to what I have on order.
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      08-04-2022, 02:03 AM   #9
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Yeah your assessment of the power delivery compared to the M8 is similar to how I reckon it was it my M5, real world acceleration feels stronger below 80-90 but I reckon if both were cruising at 30mph and hit the throttle hard the M5 with come steaming past at around 110-115, the M8 maybe a bit sooner.

That said I still prefer the power delivery of the i4M50.
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      08-04-2022, 05:39 AM   #10
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Appreciate the thorough and fantastic review!
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      08-04-2022, 07:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverik259 View Post
Curious but Did you think the electric car would be louder than the V8 for some reason? And still haven't explained why you went with the electric car when said it didn't do much for you (and I can agree with that after driving it and the iX last weekend).

Was it just the only thing available that was of any interest?
I certainly thought there was a chance I may experience more road/wind noise in the cabin of a 4 series than of an 8 series. If the 4 series was any louder within and didn't have the benefit of a motor/exhaust to drown out that noise periodically, I'd probably look to flip it quickly.

As for why I went electric... yeah, it was highly a factor of interest, but also practicality of moving back to a GC. The M8 didn't do much for me in terms of power because of the weight and numbness anyway. I had mine at the track, but it's just too heavy to have fun driving anywhere toward the limit for too long, if I want a car that feels fast, I'd go back to my F80 M3 and just not plan to drive it on the highway unless I was headed to an event... different tools, can't have it both ways, etc., etc..
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      08-04-2022, 07:40 AM   #12
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Nice write up,
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      08-04-2022, 07:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp98 View Post
Nice! Can you share the build? Looks awfully close to what I have on order.
Here's the Vehicle Inquiry (not sure how PDFs show here), but it was pretty well loaded:

Brooklyn Grey/Tacora Red Sensatec/ Carbon Fiber Trim/ Red Calipers/ Shadowline Package as far as cosmetics.

Also has PAP, Premium, Laserlights, HK, Drive Recorder, Wireless Charging, and HUD.

I think that's everything except DAPP, leather, Ventilated Seats, and the eSim: all were okay for me, PAP, HUD, and a non-black interior were my only must-haves for this car. I might have spec'd the DAPP if I were to do it myself as I have it on my X7 and use it often, but that's also my main road trip car, my commute doesn't involve highways, and I don't have much traffic in my area, so I won't miss it much (didn't have it in the M8 either).
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      08-04-2022, 09:04 AM   #14
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I know exactly what you meant by saying that M8 pulls harder on top end.

I have '21 M5C and recently went for a drive of i4 M50. The off the line was quick and the instant torque is also good but I felt like I was not "surprised" by it as much as I wanted. M5C can pull the same if not harder in lower gears.
But then again - they are different cars from different classes altogether.

That being said, I am seriously considering M50 after then M5. Only thing I would miss is the quality of the interior that the M5 or M8 have compared to i4
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      08-04-2022, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryivnx View Post
That being said, I am seriously considering M50 after then M5. Only thing I would miss is the quality of the interior that the M5 or M8 have compared to i4
I actually focused on the M8 over the M5 2 years ago because the M5 interior looked a bit dated to me, the i4 certainly solves for that, but I'm still not too disappointed with the interior in the i4 compared the M8.

I didn't have full leather in my M8, but the i4 with Carbon trim has quite a bit more carbon and the Sensatec dash looks good enough. The i4 misses the leather on the top of the doors and maybe one strip below the center console, but the way the carbon wraps around is also a little nicer than the small area in the M8. The seats compared to the M5 would be a bit of a bummer, mainly due to the lack of adjustment, but that depends on the person as if you could get comfortable as-is then it doesn't really matter. I wish we could get the M-sport seats like you can in Europe, though, I'm a small guy and the side bolsters are a bit too far out to do anything for me, my X7 holds me in the seat better.

Now fast-forward another 2 years or so when we have the next-gen M5... I'll likely be looking to trade in this i4 based on that interior alone.
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Last edited by unfoundnemo; 08-04-2022 at 09:19 AM..
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      08-04-2022, 05:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryivnx View Post
I know exactly what you meant by saying that M8 pulls harder on top end.

I have '21 M5C and recently went for a drive of i4 M50. The off the line was quick and the instant torque is also good but I felt like I was not "surprised" by it as much as I wanted. M5C can pull the same if not harder in lower gears.
But then again - they are different cars from different classes altogether.

That being said, I am seriously considering M50 after then M5. Only thing I would miss is the quality of the interior that the M5 or M8 have compared to i4
You could always order individual merino leather.
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      08-05-2022, 03:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryivnx View Post
I know exactly what you meant by saying that M8 pulls harder on top end.

I have '21 M5C and recently went for a drive of i4 M50. The off the line was quick and the instant torque is also good but I felt like I was not "surprised" by it as much as I wanted. M5C can pull the same if not harder in lower gears.
But then again - they are different cars from different classes altogether.

That being said, I am seriously considering M50 after then M5. Only thing I would miss is the quality of the interior that the M5 or M8 have compared to i4
The M5 has a better quality interior, the most noticeable difference is the quality of the leather and seats themselves but the i4 has the latest iDrive tech and display which does look better. At 6/10th I reckon they behave very similar so even going at a decent lick of pace down a back road doesn't feel all that different. The main difference centres around running costs....

Fuel price is obviously different in the UK compared to the US but I had a Sept'20 M5C that I switched from to the i4M50 and with the same amount of miles per month in each the i4 is costing me a 1/4 what the M5 did. You might say owning a £100K car and worrying about the running costs is plain stupid but the saving made are going into other things I also enjoy so I am actually getting more out of life owning the i4 than I did the M5C yet getting the same real world performance.

Win win scenario in my book.
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      08-09-2022, 11:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfoundnemo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverik259 View Post
Curious but Did you think the electric car would be louder than the V8 for some reason? And still haven't explained why you went with the electric car when said it didn't do much for you (and I can agree with that after driving it and the iX last weekend).

Was it just the only thing available that was of any interest?
I certainly thought there was a chance I may experience more road/wind noise in the cabin of a 4 series than of an 8 series. If the 4 series was any louder within and didn't have the benefit of a motor/exhaust to drown out that noise periodically, I'd probably look to flip it quickly.

As for why I went electric... yeah, it was highly a factor of interest, but also practicality of moving back to a GC. The M8 didn't do much for me in terms of power because of the weight and numbness anyway. I had mine at the track, but it's just too heavy to have fun driving anywhere toward the limit for too long, if I want a car that feels fast, I'd go back to my F80 M3 and just not plan to drive it on the highway unless I was headed to an event... different tools, can't have it both ways, etc., etc..
I enjoyed your review very much but I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that you'd rather have the I4 over the M8. I've never driven the 8 series at all but I love the look of the 850i and the M8 GC. I was actually thinking of going from the X5M competition to either a M850 or M8 GC. I not sure if I'm ready to let go of the full M experience and options yet but the 8 series GC looks so comfortable and I thought quite. I figured it would make a great cruiser and sports car when I needed. My children are pretty much grown so no one usually sits in the back seat of my X5M because we usually drive my wife's larger SUV when we travel or go out as a family so backseat room isn't that important but I feel the Gran coupe looks better. Surprisingly, your review is the second review I have read that basically described the 8 series as boring or not that thrilling. I had the M550 before the X5M and I loved it. I really love the X5M as well but I don't like feeling like I have to always drive fast when getting on the interstate. I really like it but, I feel like I need to chill before I get myself in trouble or worse. Anyway I guess I need to drive an 8 series before making up my mind. I think that it is BMW's best design yet.
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      Yesterday, 08:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.blue View Post
I enjoyed your review very much but I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that you'd rather have the I4 over the M8. I've never driven the 8 series at all but I love the look of the 850i and the M8 GC. I was actually thinking of going from the X5M competition to either a M850 or M8 GC. I not sure if I'm ready to let go of the full M experience and options yet but the 8 series GC looks so comfortable and I thought quite. I figured it would make a great cruiser and sports car when I needed. My children are pretty much grown so no one usually sits in the back seat of my X5M because we usually drive my wife's larger SUV when we travel or go out as a family so backseat room isn't that important but I feel the Gran coupe looks better. Surprisingly, your review is the second review I have read that basically described the 8 series as boring or not that thrilling. I had the M550 before the X5M and I loved it. I really love the X5M as well but I don't like feeling like I have to always drive fast when getting on the interstate. I really like it but, I feel like I need to chill before I get myself in trouble or worse. Anyway I guess I need to drive an 8 series before making up my mind. I think that it is BMW's best design yet.
I wouldn't necessarily say I would rather have an i4 over an M8. It's more that I was bored with my M8 and I wanted something different that could excite me and still function as a good highway cruiser. I emphasized "my" M8 because I think if I had full leather in any color but black and a different exterior color it would have held my interest a bit more. The interior became a bit of a let down over time, but I can't really stand a black leather interior since the contrast between the real merino leather vs the Sensatec and other rubbery black bits become more apparent over time (and I keep my interiors clean). It just started to feel a bit cheap for what it is to me. The i4 is my first non-white BMW and it's a nice change, but I feel the M8 really deserves a bolder color.

I definitely get what you're saying about the feeling like you always had to drive fast in the X5MC. I felt that constantly in my F80 M3. That car was a bit of a dog if you didn't put it in it's sportiest settings, then the sportiest settings would taunt you to push it. I didn't feel it to that affect in the M8, but I did typically still want to go fairly fast... I mean, you still need to display your highway dominance, but the car was also happy to cruise in comfort mode with it's nice quiet cabin so you could enjoy a smooth and serene ride. I have never drove any of the M SUVs myself (aside from a short test drive or do in the X3MC), but I do hear the suspension is a bit rough for an SUV so you might not get that smooth/serene feeling that you could get in an 8 that allows you to chill. If you do... then having the same engine in a different guise might not be that different. Regardless, if you loved your M550 and X5M, you should love the M8. I tried to go from my M3 to the M550 and certainly missed the handling and more granular settings you get in a true M car which was why I looked at the M8 to begin with. I think I would have liked the M850 just the same since it's a heavier car with a lower center of gravity than the M550, but I just couldn't pass up the deal on an M8 at the time.

The M8 didn't feel like a true M car compared to my F80, an F87 I've tooled around with for a bit along with some other cars I've had on a track that were simply more playful. I likely say that because I just didn't trust it handling it's weight like I did in the other cars, so I would never drive it more than like 7/10 whereas I would have my F80 sideways around every corner if I could. More track time might have fixed that, as I was a bit heavy on the brakes there since I was really feeling that weight in the corners, but I wouldn't even consider myself an amateur track driver by any means, so I don't think a couple more days a year would get me there.
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Originally Posted by Mr.blue View Post
I enjoyed your review very much but I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that you'd rather have the I4 over the M8. I've never driven the 8 series at all but I love the look of the 850i and the M8 GC. I was actually thinking of going from the X5M competition to either a M850 or M8 GC. I not sure if I'm ready to let go of the full M experience and options yet but the 8 series GC looks so comfortable and I thought quite. I figured it would make a great cruiser and sports car when I needed. My children are pretty much grown so no one usually sits in the back seat of my X5M because we usually drive my wife's larger SUV when we travel or go out as a family so backseat room isn't that important but I feel the Gran coupe looks better. Surprisingly, your review is the second review I have read that basically described the 8 series as boring or not that thrilling. I had the M550 before the X5M and I loved it. I really love the X5M as well but I don't like feeling like I have to always drive fast when getting on the interstate. I really like it but, I feel like I need to chill before I get myself in trouble or worse. Anyway I guess I need to drive an 8 series before making up my mind. I think that it is BMW's best design yet.
I wouldn't necessarily say I would rather have an i4 over an M8. It's more that I was bored with my M8 and I wanted something different that could excite me and still function as a good highway cruiser. I emphasized "my" M8 because I think if I had full leather in any color but black and a different exterior color it would have held my interest a bit more. The interior became a bit of a let down over time, but I can't really stand a black leather interior since the contrast between the real merino leather vs the Sensatec and other rubbery black bits become more apparent over time (and I keep my interiors clean). It just started to feel a bit cheap for what it is to me. The i4 is my first non-white BMW and it's a nice change, but I feel the M8 really deserves a bolder color.

I definitely get what you're saying about the feeling like you always had to drive fast in the X5MC. I felt that constantly in my F80 M3. That car was a bit of a dog if you didn't put it in it's sportiest settings, then the sportiest settings would taunt you to push it. I didn't feel it to that affect in the M8, but I did typically still want to go fairly fast... I mean, you still need to display your highway dominance, but the car was also happy to cruise in comfort mode with it's nice quiet cabin so you could enjoy a smooth and serene ride. I have never drove any of the M SUVs myself (aside from a short test drive or do in the X3MC), but I do hear the suspension is a bit rough for an SUV so you might not get that smooth/serene feeling that you could get in an 8 that allows you to chill. If you do... then having the same engine in a different guise might not be that different. Regardless, if you loved your M550 and X5M, you should love the M8. I tried to go from my M3 to the M550 and certainly missed the handling and more granular settings you get in a true M car which was why I looked at the M8 to begin with. I think I would have liked the M850 just the same since it's a heavier car with a lower center of gravity than the M550, but I just couldn't pass up the deal on an M8 at the time.

The M8 didn't feel like a true M car compared to my F80, an F87 I've tooled around with for a bit along with some other cars I've had on a track that were simply more playful. I likely say that because I just didn't trust it handling it's weight like I did in the other cars, so I would never drive it more than like 7/10 whereas I would have my F80 sideways around every corner if I could. More track time might have fixed that, as I was a bit heavy on the brakes there since I was really feeling that weight in the corners, but I wouldn't even consider myself an amateur track driver by any means, so I don't think a couple more days a year would get me there.
You made all good points, especially the all black interior and the white exterior. These are two things I hate especially in an expensive car like the ones mentioned. If I haven't said it before, congratulations on the i4 and enjoy it, it is a great looking car. Maybe one day I will grow up and purchase a hybrid or e-car. For now I am holding on to the 8 cylinders until they are gone ! Lol! Love the sound of an 8 cylinder engine. Thanks for the reply.
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