BMW i4: Redefining what is possible

Published 25 October 2018
in New Vehicles
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Only 5 years ago we saw BMW begin experimenting with electric car technology, introducing BMW i series. After launching the i3 hatchback and the i8 sports car, we are now excited to see BMW launch yet another showstopper: the BMW i4.

With 300,000 BMW electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the road already, the German company have confirmed that the i4 is production ready and will be on sale from 2021.

The BMW i4 is hoping to redefine what is possible. The all-electric coupé-styled saloon is hoping to increase the range that any electric car has ever had – with an official range of 435 miles. It’s also likely for drivers to be able to choose between front and four-wheel drive. 

BMW invested £181 million in battery research, development and production rather than relying on outside suppliers, meaning it should eventually be able to build batteries for its own cars. Head of the i divisions at BMW, Robert Irilinger has admitted BMW could offer the i4 with a choice of battery capacities at different price points, to suit customers. 

The car will be significantly lighter so it feels more agile on the road, Irlinger was asked if the i4 would have a more conventional look than the i3 and i8 he said “Yes, you could put it that way. The vehicles will be closer to the cars we have already in market. Look at the iX3; it’s really an i but it’s also an X3. Look at the i4 and you’ll see it’s clearly an i but it’s close to a car whose name may begin with 4. We have to be prepared that our customers could say, ‘I don’t want to have a specific car. I want to have my BMW that I love, in an electrified version.’”

The i4 showcases BMW’s ambition to take on Tesla with this luxurious saloon. BMW uses an advanced electric system i Vision Dynamics, which provides a 0 to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration in four seconds. Top speed is 120 mph (200 kph) and, at a single charge, the electric vehicle can travel up to 373 miles (600 kilometers). If these numbers are anything to go by, the production i4 will be a worthy Tesla Model S competitor. The i4 is estimated to be at a £55,000 price point in two years, in comparison to the Tesla Model S available today sitting £25,000 higher.

BMW will introduce up to five new i models by the end of 2021, with up to 12 electric models across the BMW Group (which includes Mini and Rolls-Royce) four years later. Among that model, plan is a successor to today’s i3, the iX3 SUV and the Mini Electric (itself due to launch next year). Officials have also given the green light to launch 25 plug-in hybrid models by 2025.