BMW I4: Range and Power Won't Be a Problem, but Buyers Might
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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