BMW i4 preview

Here's the preview to the 2021 BMW i4.

What's this?
This is the BMW i4, due to arrive in Ireland in November 2021. It’s the battery-electric alternative to the 4 Series Gran Coupe, which means you get five doors, loads of space and plenty of style. Plus, it’s the first pure electric model from BMW that it promises will deliver “electric driving pleasure” - just don’t tell the outgoing i3, the new iX and iX3 that. They are probably more about technology and functionality than driving dynamics and performance, so for those wanting a bit of BMW driving fun in an electric car, this could be the one to look at.

It also happens to be quite good to look at, which is not something we’ve said of many BMW models lately. Yes, it has a controversial grille, but the rest of it has a premium and sporty look. It’s practical too with room for up to five adults and, at 470 litres, there’s a decent amount of boot space. The interior features high quality materials, lots of comfort and the latest in technology with an easy-to-use touchscreen and all the connectivity you could need.

What will its rivals be?
Its most obvious rival is the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, as well as other petrol and diesel models like the Audi A5 Sportback, but it has plenty of electric competition too. This includes the upcoming Kia EV6, the Jaguar I-Pace and the Tesla Model 3. Look at the i4 M50 though and you’re heading into Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan territory.

Any tech info?
Like most BMWs there’s plenty of tech available, although quite a bit will be found on the options list. It will have the easy-to-use digital instrumentation, a touchscreen infotainment system with the latest version of BMW’s iDrive and its new Operating System 8. Connectivity is a given, plus the i4 comes with BMW Personal Assistant, so you can ask it where the nearest place to recharge the car or its humans is. The i4 also uses sounds in the interior created by famous film composer Hans Zimmer. These sounds can correspondent to the style of driving or to a personal preference chosen in settings. It could be a bit gimmicky but Zimmer is a genius so it could be quite good.

What will the range be like?
The i4 eDrive40 Sport will be priced from €63,565 with an M Sport version from €65,405. It has a range of up to 590km and the great news is that if you plug it in to a 200kW rapid charger you’ll get 164km of range in just ten minutes. If you want some real performance then the i4 M50 has more power than a BMW M4 Competition, is just a tenth of a second slower to 100km/h at 3.9 seconds and at €78,315 is over fifty grand cheaper.

Given all the controversy around BMW’s styling direction lately, we have high expectations for the rather attractive and sporty-looking i4. It ticks so many boxes in terms of practicality relating not just to the obvious thing of its five doors and interior space, but its driving range, charging capability and of course the performance of the i4 M50. It could be the most exciting electric BMW yet.

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