BMW i4

Carpedia  ·  February 14, 2022

BMW i4

The Bavarian carmaker has been in the process of electrification longer than most rivals. The first models from the "i" division were introduced 9 years ago, and today, the lineup includes several models, including the BMW i4. This model succeeds the 3 and 4 Series, which are some of BMW's biggest money-makers.

This particular model comes in BMW's recognizable Gran Coupe layout, and it is designed to provide a genuine sports ride, which isn't the case with most electric cars. It looks great and is pretty capable. Still, is this enough to fill the shoes of the super-popular BMW 3 and 4 Series?

The First Generation of BMW i4 (2021-present)

The first and only generation was launched last year, but the development started years ago. We saw something similar to the production model in 2017 when the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show. 

The second concept came with the i4 name, and it was introduced in 2020. Eventually, the final version premiered in March 2021, and production commenced in October.

Design

To cut development expenses, the BMW i4 was designed over the familiar CLAR platform, which underpins conventional ICE-powered models. Therefore, it's no wonder that this electric car has most things in common with the 4 Series Gran Coupe. 

The two models feature similar dimensions and look very much alike as well. The i4 doesn't feature too many styling details accentuating its all-electric nature, so you can even see a similarly designed, super-massive grille.

The suspension setup is also the same. The i4 comes with a familiar McPherson strut at the front end and a multi-link on the rear end, which also comes standard with air suspension.

Of course, this model packs some pretty exclusive design solutions and features, and one of them is an entirely flat underbody. This results in a drag coefficient that is lower than its conventional siblings.

Dimensions

Visually, the BMW i4 closely resembles the 4 Series model and even features the same 5-door liftback body style. Things aren’t much different in terms of dimensions either. We can see that this model will one day replace its ICE sibling completely. 

The wheelbase is 2,856 millimetres, while the total length is 4,783mm. The i4 is 1,852mm wide and 1,448mm high, while the ground clearance is 125mm. Also, the standard eDrive40 model weighs around 2,050kg.

BMW i4 Dimensions:

Powertrain

One of the exciting design solutions brought by the i4 to improve efficiency is the integration of the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics into one component. 

The whole setup of the standard eDrive40 model consists of a single 3-phase synchronous electric motor that features a max output of 250 kilowatts and 430 Nm of torque. 

As you would expect, the electric motor is mounted on the rear axle, and it provides pretty good performance. The car needs around 5.7 seconds to hit 100 km/h, while the top speed is 190 km/h.

This electric motor comes in combination with an 81.5-kWh battery pack, which ensures a max range of 493-590 km according to WLTP. The i4 supports up to 200 kW DC fast charging, which means that you can charge 80% of the battery in about half an hour. 

In other words, you get over 160 km of range every 10 minutes. With the standard AC charger, the battery needs around 8 hours to charge completely.

Also, the Bavarian carmaker prepares a more basic version of the car, which would come as the eDrive35. It will feature a smaller, 60-kWh battery pack and a less powerful electric motor, with a max output of 200 kW. 

However, details about the max range, acceleration and top speed are yet to be announced. We expect to see this version at any time in 2022.

BMW i4 eDrive40 Specs:

BMW i4 M50

The i4 is BMW's first electric model that received treatment from the company's famous Motorsport division. It comes with different upgrades, both mechanical and aesthetic ones. 

Powertrain and Specs

One of the first things that come to mind is the suspension setup, and the upgrade is in the form of adaptive dampers. Also, the M50 has bigger brakes.

When it comes to aesthetics, it adds carbon fibre mirrors, spoiler, kidney grille trim, splitter, diffuser, rear bumper trim, and M wheels, to name some. On the inside, you may count on an upgraded steering wheel, sports seats, and Alcantara.

Still, the most significant upgrade comes in terms of powertrain. Unlike the standard eDrive40, the M50 has a dual-motor setup and all-wheel drive.

Combining two electric motors provides a max output of 400 kW and 795 Nm of torque. That's enough power to move the vehicle from 0 to 100km/h in less than 4 seconds, while the top speed goes up to 225km/h.

The M50 comes with a slightly bigger battery which features a capacity of 83.9 kWh. Still, the max range is notably shorter due to more powerful electric motors. According to WLTP, this version can make between 416 and 521 kilometres on a single charge.

BMW i4 M50 Specs:

Interior Features

The standard BMW i4 eDrive40 is available at around $99,900. While that’s not a small amount, we should keep in mind that the amount of standard equipment is quite respectable. 

It runs on a massive 14.9-inch infotainment screen, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is also standard. All models come standard with convenience features like three-zone climate control, acoustic glazing for the windshield, pre-heating and pre-conditioning, and an electrically operated tailgate, to name a few. 

Furthermore, the i4 comes equipped with the company's latest iDrive 8 infotainment system, which includes updated voice controls, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 5G compatibility and more.

According to the manufacturer, this electric car comes with 40 driver-assistance systems. You can find an acoustic pedestrian protection system, which produces sounds when driving under 21km/h, to warn pedestrians. 

The list of standard equipment includes a reverse camera, lane departure warning, intelligent speed adaptation, collision warning with braking intervention, and front and rear parking sensors.

Of course, many more upgrades are available on the list of optional tech and driver-assist features.


By Nebojsa Grmusa

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