BMW Concept I4, the ICE-mimicking EV, Prepares for Debut

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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bmw concept i4 the ice mimicking ev prepares for debut

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Feb 25, 2020

    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?

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Feb 26, 2020

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

  • Lorenzo A union in itself doesn't mean failure, collective bargaining would mean failure.
  • Ajla Why did pedestrian fatalities hit their nadir in 2009 and overall road fatalities hit their lowest since 1949 in 2011? Sedans were more popular back then but a lot of 300hp trucks and SUVs were on the road starting around 2000. And the sedans weren't getting smaller and slower either. The correlation between the the size and power of the fleet with more road deaths seems to be a more recent occurrence.
  • Jeff_M It's either a three on the tree OR it's an automatic. It ain't both.
  • Lorenzo I'm all in favor of using software and automation to BUILD cars, but keep that junk off my instrument panel, especially the software enabled interactive junk. Just give me the knobs and switches so I can control the vehicle, with no interconnectivity of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts Modern cars detach people from their speed too much. The combination of tall ride height, super-effective sound insulation, massive power, and electronic aids makes people quite unaware of just how much kinetic energy is nominally under their control while they watch a movie on their phone with one hand and eat a Quarter Pounder with the other. I think that is the primary reason we are seeing an uptick in speed-related fatalities, especially among people NOT in cars.With that said, I don't think Americans have proven responsible enough to have unlimited speed in cars. Although I'd hate it, I still would support limiters that kick in at 10 over in the city and 20 over on the freeway, because I think they would save more than enough lives to be worth the pain.