By on November 18, 2019


That isn’t to say no one will spring for BMW’s upcoming electric sedan when it appears in 2021; rather, it will face the same hesitant marketplace all other battery-electric models must grapple with.

Revealed in a not very comprehensive manner on Monday, the BMW i4 is a propeller-logo EV that takes a more mainstream approach to gas-free driving. There are no clamshell or scissor-style doors, no bizarrely tall and narrow wheels, and not a hint of gasoline to be found anywhere. BMW feels the model’s range is sufficient to win over the anxious types.

In what may be a top-spec trim, BMW claims the i4 sedan (Gran Coupe, in Bimmer parlance) is capable of driving “around” 600 km (379 miles) between charges. While the automaker didn’t specify, this figure is certainly gained from the European WLTP driving cycle; expect a somewhat lower number from the EPA.

Boasting fifth-generation eDrive electric motor technology, BMW claims the i4’s single propulsion source is good for 530 horsepower. Power is presumably sent to the rear wheels, though the car’s modular architecture, bound for other models, could encompass a number of drive configurations.


Speed? It’s there, too. Zero to 62 mph is said to be a 4-second proposition. Handling is aided by a low center of gravity born from a flat, energy-dense underfloor battery pack. The automaker claims the 80 kWh pack can handle charging to the tune of 150 kW, which translates into an 80-percent charge in 35 minutes. Or, put another way, 100 km added in 6 minutes. (You might be in a hurry.)

Assembled in Munich alongside the 3 Series, the i4 will join the iNEXT and iX3 crossovers in BMW’s EV vanguard. The oddball i3 continues in service, albeit with the upgraded motor and battery tech. By 2023, some 25 electrified vehicles — meaning both electric and plug-in hybrid — will proliferate throughout the brand’s lineup.

While a surge of buyers cannot be accurately anticipated, one thing’s for sure: the i4’s lack of internal combustion might keep that grille in check.

[Images: BMW Group]

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15 Comments on “BMW i4: Range and Power Won’t Be a Problem, but Buyers Might...”

  • avatar

    Wow, much better looking than current ICE BMWs. But why are they developing an electric sedan when the market to be in is the CUV market?

    • 0 avatar

      Tesla certainly sells plenty of Model 3s – that’s likely the bogey here.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t want a CUV.

      Then again, I don’t want this either.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe iX3 is coming first, then the i4.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes. Both iX1 and iX5 should have been done before anyone thought about an i4.

        • 0 avatar

          Can you imagine how far you can push a CUV through the air at autobahn speeds with a battery? Perhaps in the US there are people who don’t understand physics, but you can figure out their importance really quickly when it comes to running elevated speeds in a shed with three gallons of gas worth of energy on board. I used to commute on the I15. The slowest cars on the road were Tesla Model Ss, because keeping up with 90 mph traffic would have decimated their range.

          • 0 avatar

            @ToddAtlasF1: Let’s do some math. A Model X on the Autobahn trying to stay at max consumes power at a rate of 430 Wh/km in one example I found on youtube. So, by my calculations, an 80 kWh battery will last 184 km or about 114 miles. Probably 100 miles to be safe. I’m fine with that.

            3 gallons of gas? You’d be lucky to get 30 to 40 miles if even that at high speeds in an ICE CUV.

          • 0 avatar

            Nobody is going to have trouble commuting at 90 mph in a Model S unless they are in their cars four hours a day.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            You driven on the Autobahn @Todd? There isn’t much of it that has “Autobahn speeds” nowadays. They just voted down a speed limit on all of it. If it helps the German automakers get EVs into the hands of Germans bet that speed limit happens.

    • 0 avatar

      Because the i4 chassis will probably be embiggened into the next X3/X4/X5.

  • avatar

    Don’t be fooled- all clues indicate this thing’s shape will be less 4 Gran Coupe and more a continuation of the 3GT (aka BMW Crosstour)

    The skateboard platform is relegating attractive sedan design to the high end, which really bums me out.

  • avatar

    I’ll be surprised if this is priced reasonably – I’ll bet it starts in the upper 50’s with vinyl seats.

    It looks like a 3 series that’s about to take a dump.

  • avatar

    “By 2023, some 25 electrified vehicles — meaning both electric and plug-in hybrid — will proliferate throughout the brand’s lineup.”

    Only 25? Tesla makes half a million vehicles a year. How they planning to compete with 25 vehicles?

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