BMW already has a small electric vehicle lineup existing in the market. The i3 electric hatchback, the new iX3 mid-sized SUV, and the iX flagship represent the German automaker in electric mobility. Now, the company has unveiled the design of the new 4-door saloon, the i4. BMW will launch the i4 by fall 2021, three months ahead of its original schedule.
The i4 will take on industry leader Tesla Model 3, along with Polestar 2, Volkswagen’s ID.3 and Nissan Leaf+. Contrary to the electric crossover segment, the mid-sized electric sedan segment has few options. This makes the i4 a viable option in the market, and if it does manage to deliver the performance, it can steal also some customers from Model 3 as well.
Details About BMW i4
The i4 is based on BMW’s upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe. BMW will, of course, offer various powertrain options for the i4. The topmost variant will contain a WLTP-estimated range of 366 miles (590 km). Of course, the EPA rating is stricter, so this figure may come down to around 300 miles (483 km). The power output of 530 bhp is impressive, but the acceleration timing of 4 seconds seems a bit modest. Maybe it will get updated when we get closer to the launch. The car will be compatible with 150 kW charging points, which will charge the car from 0 to 80% in 35 minutes.
BMW has modified the CLAR vehicular platform which it uses in the current 3 Series and 4 Series and used it in the i4. The highest battery capacity is 80 kWh, but the car will offer a smaller battery pack option later. Details of this smaller pack will be disclosed closer to the launch, and it will be combined with a rear-wheel-drive.
The new 8th-generation iDrive operating system is a major feature of the i4. BMW debuted this system just a few days ago, saying that they will be using it in the iX and i4. The main feature of this new system is the Curved Display, which houses two screens sized 12.3 inches and 14.9 inches. The smaller screen is for information display, while the control display is present on the larger screen. The overall design of these integrated touchscreens makes it look like a single piece of a floating display.
Overall Exterior and Interior Design
Even though the i4 is based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe, there are quite a few noticeable changes. While BMW’s combustion vehicles use the kidney grilles in the front as air intake through small holes, the automaker has completely closed off these grilles in the i4. In the future, they plan on using them to pack sensors, which will form an integral part of the autonomous system. As a result, the front view looks quite similar to the 4 Series. BMW has rectified this by applying plenty of bright blue details all along the exterior of the vehicle.
The i4 is longer than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because of the extra set of doors. But the sloping roofline and short overhang make it look sleeker than other BMW saloons. The rear also contains blue detailing, mainly around the large rear diffuser.
Overall, the entire exterior has an aerodynamically-clever profile. With the rear diffuser managing a majority of the rear, the front profile looks quite modern. BMW has made it a point to take care of small details as well. As a result, you will find door handles fitting flush with the bodywork, instead of the protruding ones on 4 Series.
There aren’t a lot of details of the interior revealed by BMW for the i4 currently. But one can easily predict what to expect from the interiors of the iX SUV, as well as the i4 Concept. The i4 Concept’s cabin looks richly appointed and features rose gold trim, white leather upholstery, and light wood trim. The overall dimensions mean one can expect a spacious feeling inside.
The BMW i4 will most probably go on the market with a price tag of $45,000-$50,000.
Of course, we can’t comment definitely till we’re closer to the launch, but the BMW i4 certainly seems to pack a punch. BMW has claimed an acceleration timing of just under 4 seconds, but Model 3 Performance does 0 to 60 mph (96.5 kph) in 3.1 seconds. This, despite the fact that Model 3 gives a lesser power output than the i4 claims.
The range figures will have to be checked as well. But one cannot expect a company to produce its first-ever all-electric sedan and directly compete with the segment leader (unless the company is Lucid Motors). BMW may fall short of eclipsing Model 3’s performance. But the company has said that the i4 combines the pinnacle of automotive engineering with the power and efficiency of an all-electric vehicle. They plan on connecting the emotional side of driving dynamics with the modern and practical side of technology-driven mobility. And with a company with the legacy of BMW, one can definitely expect that to happen.