BMW Introduces $499/Month Electric 1-Series, 240-hp Turbo Four Z4

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
bmw introduces 499 month electric 1 series 240 hp turbo four z4

I’d like to personally apologize to the readers of TTAC; while everybody else was rushing out of BMW’s showcase Manhattan dealership to file their instant-dispatch posts regarding BMW’s twin introductions today, yours truly was standing in front of the infamous “Squid and Whale” diorama at the Museum Of Natural History and feeling very conflicted about my urban youth and rural adulthood. So here we are, ten hours after the press event, and I’m finally getting around to posting this.

Anyway… Got $499 a month? Are you interested in a 170-horsepower electric 1-Series which zips to 60 in about nine seconds? Nope? How about a super-high-tech BMW turbo four-cylinder that doesn’t quite match what the Koreans are doing?

The white car in the photo above is the BMW ActiveE. It’s the successor to the MINI “E” and it’s going to be made available to seven hundred potential lessors. $499 a month, 24 months, two grand and change out of pocket. It has reasonable power and, as with all electric cars, full torque is available from zero rpm. BMW is very proud of the fact that they offer full electric, hybrid electric, diesel, and “efficient dynamics” gasoline cars, all right here in the American market.

Included under the “Efficient Dynamics” banner is the new 2.0 four-cylinder turbo, finding a home in the inexplicably-named Z4 2.8i. It cranks out 240hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. For comparison, the Sonata Turbo produces 274 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque, also from two liters. The 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 put out similar numbers from a turbo 2.4… at the wheels. On the positive side, fuel economy is said to be 20% above that of an equivalent six-cylinder.

The Z4 avec turbo is nice enough, but the electric One is actually a bit more than interesting. We’ll be trying to get our hands on one ASAP.

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2 of 22 comments
  • Mnm4ever Mnm4ever on Apr 19, 2011

    What the hell is with BMWs wonky naming conventions?!? I can sort of understand when you offer 2 different 3.0 liter engines in the same car, cant call them both a 330, so something has to be done (not that I like the 328 idea but whatever). But when the name of the car doesnt have any relation to the engine size, why come up with an arbitray engine size designation? Its getting ridiculous.

  • Sam P Sam P on Apr 20, 2011

    Great. The 3.0 liter inline 6 sans turbo was one of the last reliable and proven BMW engines. Now it's gone from the US market. Get ready for more HPFP problems, just like in the turbo BMW sixes. Oh, and the Hyundai that everyone is benchmarking is a boring sedan that gets beaten by a Camry V6 in a straight line.

  • Tassos ask me if I care.
  • ToolGuy • Nice vehicle, reasonable price, good writeup. I like your ALL CAPS. 🙂"my mid-trim EX tester is saddled with dummy buttons for a function that’s not there"• If you press the Dummy button, does a narcissist show up spouting grandiose comments? Lol.
  • MaintenanceCosts These are everywhere around here. I'm not sure the extra power over a CR-V hybrid is worth the fragile interior materials and the Kia dealership experience.
  • MaintenanceCosts It's such a shame about the unusable ergonomics. I kind of like the looks of this Camaro and by all accounts it's the best-driving of the current generation of ponycars. A manual 2SS would be a really fun toy if only I could see out of it enough to drive safely.
  • ToolGuy Gut feel: It won't sell all that well as a new vehicle, but will be wildly popular in the used market 12.5 years from now.(See FJ Cruiser)