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.
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