It’s generally accepted that BMW invented the compact executive car with the 3-Series. When it was launched in 1975 it brought quality, style and driving enjoyment in a smaller package than traditional luxury saloons.
A lot has changed in the 46 years since then, but the 3-Series – and the more recent 4-Series – have constantly evolved to ensure they stay at the top of their game and continue to be seen as the benchmarks in the class.
But now the company’s engineers face their biggest challenge to date: the movement to all-electric mobility. How can BMW ensure its customers have the driving excitement, efficiency, comfort and performance they expect in car which produces no local emissions?
The i4 brings the driving excitement BMW drivers expect in car which produces no local emissions
The answer is the BMW i4. It combines BMW’s fabled sporting prowess with elegant design, spaciousness and the practicality of a five door Gran Coupé. To ensure there are no compromises, it also has the ability to cover long distances between charging by combining an energy dense, large capacity battery with impressive efficiency.
The BMW i4 is based on a flexible structural architecture which was conceived from the outset to be used with a purely electric drive system. This allowed the engineers to push the wheels out into the corners of the car, creating extra stability, refinement and creating more room for passengers.
This was only possible because the body structure is extremely stiff and yet lightweight. Engineers combined this with chassis technology attuned precisely to i4, using sophisticated air suspension as standard on the rear wheels to give the best combination of refinement and control. Electronics constantly monitor levels of traction to ensure the i4 makes the best use of its power too.
Elegant design with spaciousness and the practicality, the i4 is a five door Gran Coupé
This all adds up to some stunning figures which would quickly dispel any thoughts that electric cars aren’t rewarding to drive. The most powerful variant available in the first all-electric Gran Coupé, the BMW i4 M50, achieves a power output of 544hp. That’s a figure which is truly worthy of the iconic M badge.
It is equipped with two powerful BMW M eDrive electric motors and a set of M-specific features, allowing it to get to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds. Yet it can be frugal too. On the days when you don’t choose to use the performance, the BMW i4 M50 offers a range of up to 316 miles* when fully charged.
If efficiency is more important than outright speed, BMW i4 eDrive40 can reach up to 366 miles* between charges, when fully charged. And yet it is still a high performance car with 340hp and an intelligent driving system created by the merging of the efficient drivetrain concept, lightweight construction, aerodynamic design and a powerful high-voltage battery.
Engineers have created a car with practicality, performance and exciting dynamics
In addition to this, other innovative technologies, such as brake energy recovery, help to extend the range and reduce energy consumption to less than 16.5 kW/h.
Charging the BMW i4 model couldn't be easier. The Connected Charging service helps you find the nearest charging station along your route, so you can charge when you need to – and go from a 10 to 80% charge in just 31 minutes with up to 200 kW of charging power from a suitable source.
Or, if you just need a top up to get you home, you can simply recharge up to 101 miles range in only 10 minutes in the i4 eDrive40, or up to 86 miles in 10 minutes for i4 M50*. That’s barely enough time to buy a coffee before you are ready to enjoy your journey again.
At home, you have the convenience of using a Wallbox. The i4 can accept up to 11 kW of power, bringing the battery of the BMW i4 back to 100% charge in just 8.5 hours. The BMW Flexible Charger for home use, the charging cable (Mode 3) for public charging, and the BMW Charging Card for access to the public charging network are included when you buy an i4.
Charging the BMW i4 model couldn't be easier, at home or away
It’s not just the range that will allow you to go on long-distance adventures. The BMW i4’s generously sized luggage compartment is accessed via a large tailgate, making it far more practical and useful than a saloon for anyone with an active lifestyle. The boot has a volume of 470 litres, and, if you need even more space, it expands up to 1,290 litres by folding down the rear seats. If that’s still not enough, there is even the option of an electrically extendable and retractable trailer tow hitch, with a permissible trailer load of 1,600kg.
An interior isn’t just for carrying luggage of course. Features such as acoustic glazing, app-controlled pre-heating and pre-conditioning, sport seats and a sports steering wheel come as standard and contribute to the i4’s luxurious premium ambience.
It all adds up to a revolution, but it doesn’t mean you have to compromise to reap the rewards of BMW electric vehicle ownership. BMW’s first all-electric Gran Coupé will arrive in December 2021 and combines next-level performance with modern comforts to deliver a truly outstanding driving experience.
A generous luggage capacity and towing capability mean the i4 is ready for adventures
* Values are preliminary; measured according to the WLTP test cycle. These figures were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. There is a new test for fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures. The electric range shown was achieved using the new (WLTP) test procedure. Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedure.