BMW i4 preview
In the simplest terms, it’s an all-electric BMW 3 Series. Or, perhaps more accurately, an all-electric BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. As part of BMW’s burgeoning i-brand of electric cars, which has already given us the i3 and i8 (these launched in 2013 and 2014 respectively), the i4 promises to be the third zero-emissions vehicle from the German company when it lands, probably in 2021.
What will its rivals be?
There are very few obvious direct rivals to the BMW i4, although there is one direct competitor firmly in the German’s crosshairs: the Tesla Model 3. Other than that, it could poach sales from the likes of the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC, but it’s quite a different body style to those.
Any tech info?
While there’s a bit of conjecture here, we do know the i4 will very closely follow the template of the i Vision Dynamics concept car, which debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. That means the i4 – unlike its i3 and i8 relations – will not have a ‘Carbon Core’ chassis framework, but will instead sit on the CLAR platform that underpins many of BMW’s conventional combustion-powered cars of the current range. This is because the i4 will be a far less avantgarde model than either the i3 or i8, looking very much like a 4 Series Gran Coupe, only with an electric powertrain. It’ll certainly have some punch, too, as BMW has already stated it wants the i4 to be able to do 0-100km/h in four seconds precisely and go on to a top speed of more than 200km/h.
What will the range be like?
Again, rough details but BMW has confirmed both 90- and 120kWh lithium-ion battery packs will be in the offing. The larger of these will ensure the i4 has an all-electric range of more than 600km, which is very commendable by today’s EV standards.
They’re high, given that it has taken a while for BMW to add to the i3 and i8 models in its electric family. Both of these cars have impressed critics so far and the demand is clearly there for more electric products from this premium German manufacturer, and the i4 looks like being the best bet from the i brand so far for families looking to transition away from internal combustion engines. If the i4 can drive with the zest that BMW fans demand of the marque, and it can provide plenty of ride comfort and refinement too, then this could be the most talented BMW i yet to issue forth into the world.