BMW and Pirelli will outfit the German automaker’s i4 M50 all-electric vehicle with the Italian tyre manufacturer’s P Zero Elect rubber, which is geared for high-performance electric powertrains.
Putting that perfect set of fresh rubber tires on your favorite car doesn’t just make it handle like it’s on rails and give you a renewed appreciation for seat belts; it’ll brighten your whole day. Sadly, picking that perfect set and getting that “fresh rubber” feeling has become increasingly complex in the electrified age. Thankfully, BMW and Pirelli have partnered to tackle that issue on the BMW i4 M50.
— Pirelli (@Pirelli) January 25, 2023
Everybody knows EV-specific tires can help make a car handle better, smoother, and more efficient. Still, oddly enough, the tires that come straight from the dealer are often run-of-the-mill, bog standard, and often lacking in the performance department. Not the case with Pirelli’s new P Zero Elect, which will be available on the BMW i4 M50.
This brings us to the BMW i4’s biggest problem, its weight. Far from the nimble sportscar standard of 90s BMW products, the i4 M50 comes in at an earth-shattering 5,018 pounds. The problem is so significant that it has become car reviewers’ and vehicle owners’ common talking point.
Hence the involvement of Pirelli.
More than making the vehicle carve like a knife, tires can affect how a vehicle handles its weight. Pirelli said, “The structure of the Pirelli tire has been reinforced to support the car and deliver maximum performance even during extreme sports driving.” Furthermore, “the special high-grip compound has also been designed to give maximum grip to guarantee precise and efficient handling,” explains Pirelli.
In essence, though a reinforced structural design and a new compound, Pirelli has given the vehicle a more planted feel through its specific design, helping reduce some of the i4’s momentous weight issues. But this isn’t the first vehicle Pirelli has worked to improve the handling of.
Pirelli’s “Elect” variant of tires, specifically designed for EVs, have been integrated into each of the company’s notable product offerings: P Zero, Cinturato, and Scorpion. In turn, it has attracted manufacturers like Ford and its Mustang Mach-E, Rivian with its R1S, and even Porsche and its first EV, the Taycan.
The Italian tire titan has a long history of fitting specialized tires to BMW’s M-cars. Its newest product shows that it intends to do the same with the German performance brand’s electric offerings. More exciting still is the idea that Pirelli is finally working towards EV tires that aren’t just for getting the most range but can be used for more “spirited” driving. Let’s hope other tire manufacturers aren’t far behind.
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