By on February 25, 2020

If you’ve taken stock of the latest electric vehicles coming out of Germany, you’ll notice a clear trend: they’re not futuristic machines. While the vehicles’ powertrains are unconventional, the bodywork is strictly by-the-book — there’ll be no confusion among onlookers as to what badge belongs on that e-Tron, EQC, or Taycan.

The same can be said for the production-previewing BMW Concept i4 arriving in Geneva on March 3rd. BMW’s first electric sedan (Gran Coupe, per the automaker’s description) is designed to look like a normal higher-end BMW and go like a normal higher-end BMW. The model’s styling and output is no happy accident.

Actually, if you could see the front end of this thing, you might not call it happy. That’s because the i4, like the upcoming 4 Series, is expected to don the massive kidney grille seen on last year’s Concept 4 Series. Stretching from the Earth’s mantle to the ionosphere, the oversized opening is just the latest example of the grille bloat plaguing the industry.

For antsy first-time electric car buyers, however, a big grille may have a calming effect.

“The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission,” said BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk in a statement.

The automaker previewed the model in a short video Tuesday, showing the i4 taking shape from liquid metal poured over an invisible body. A boxy and weird i3 it ain’t.

As reported by Autocar, the i4’s output is specifically tailored to mimic a V8-powered, all-wheel drive sedan. Front and rear motors will generate a combined 523 horsepower, capable of moving the no-doubt-heavy sedan to 62 mph in about four seconds. An 80 kWh battery pack provides the necessary juice, and range is said to be 373 miles on the optimistic European test cycle.

The BMW i4 will reach consumers sometime next year.

[Image: BMW]

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4 Comments on “BMW Concept i4, the ICE-mimicking EV, Prepares for Debut...”

  • avatar

    The huge bucky-beaver grille of the 4-series just means this will be a conventionally ugly car instead of the usual EV dorkmobile.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    The thing that I like about EV’s is that the packaging of the powertrains allow for a low hoodline that can meet pedestrian impact standards (their has to be so much space between the top of the motor and the hood so it can take some of the impact).

    The model S shows this. Hoodlines like the RX-7, SC300, etc. are again possible.

    I’d like to see a sort of retro EV…think like the Honda that Europe gets, only make it look like a modern E30.

  • avatar

    Another day, another Tesla killer. With huge grill this time. But it is so fake – EV does not need grill. Why EV fanatics who reject grills would like to drive a car that looks like ICE BMW?

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I really liked the design of i3. I with BMW worked on improving its efficiency instead of this.

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