Nosing Into a New Era: BMW Concept I4
No, this isn’t the grille-heavy Concept 4 BMW released last year — it’s the Concept i4, a preview of the electric sedan slated for production next year. That other concept heralded the next-generation 4 Series.
Sporting four doors and a front-end design BMW adamantly believes will attract more buyers than it repels, the Concept i4 closely parallels the production model. Clearly, Tesla will have the faceless car market all to itself.
The odd i3 and unattainably pricey i8 are yesterday’s version of emissions-free (or partly emissions-free) BMW motoring. The i4, along with the upcoming — and even more conventional — iX3, are the future.
Appearing in Gran Coupe form, the Concept i4 hints strongly at the form of the next-gen 4 Series Gran Coupe. According to Roadshow, the two cars are kissin’ cousins, profile-wise. Meanwhile, lead designer Kai Langer told the publication that the Concept i4 is an 85-percent accurate representation of the production i4.
Boasting distinctive rear-drive proportions, the Concept i4 whispers to prospective customers that, despite lacking an internal combustion powerplant and harmonious exhaust note, it remains a BMW through and through. Output will be plentiful, topping out at 530 horsepower, and so will range. While BMW didn’t detail build configurations and battery choice, the most long-legged of the pack will be able to cover 373 miles on the optimistic WLTP cycle. The EPA figure should come in at 270 miles.
Rear-drive/all-wheel drive availability was not mentioned, though BMW does say the model will carry a single electric motor.
While the i4 stands to heave a greater heft than its gas-powered counterpart (despite being a fifth-generation design, the battery pack slung beneath the production model will top 1,200 pounds), BMW still claims a 0-60 mph time of about 4 seconds.
With its long hood, abbreviated trunk lid, and slippery roofline, the Concept i4 looks great from the side. Controversy only erupts when we get to the front. And yet there’s no stopping grille creep in Munich — in this application the brand’s swelling kidneys play an alternative role: as an “intelligence panel” hosting various driver-assist sensors.
Series production of the i4 starts in Germany in 2021.
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It would appear that BMW is presenting its own version of the bizarre anime inspired "Toyotafication" design language.