► The new i4 in near-production spec
► 373-mile range, 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds
► Coming this year
BMW has revealed the first official pictures of the new i4 Gran Coupe at the brand's 2021 annual conference. Official details are scarce, but the production-spec i4 stays relatively true to the concept car that was revealed during the time of the cancelled 2020 Geneva motor show.
The brand says there will be different powertrain versions of the i4 available, including one that's capable of up to 300 miles. There'll also be a 523bhp variant capable of sprinting to 62mph in four seconds. We'll find out more details over the next few weeks, so read on for what else we know ahead of the official specifications announcement.
BMW's i4 can drift
BMW has released fresh pictures of an i4 prototype, this time showing the car’s more dynamic qualities. Taken at the brand’s Aschheim proving ground, the new images show the i4 in full-drift mode, because Munich wants to remind us EVs can still be fun.
‘For the first time, we’ve developed a BMW with sporty DNA for purely electric driving entirely from scratch,' explained project manager David Alfredo Ferrufino Camacho. ‘The BMW i4 offers everything BMW stands for – and it’s fully electric, too.’
The i4 can put out 523bhp and hit 0-62mph in four seconds, but key to the driving experience will be the way it gets from A to B. ARB, BMW’s current name for the i4’s traction control, means it’ll put down its power in the most sensible way. However, as these pictures and videos show, the i4 will still be as ‘flickable’ as its ICE counterpart.
‘With its superior directional reliability and high level of cornering stability, it seems to literally attach itself to the road,’ said Camacho. 'All electric vehicles are capable of fast straight-line acceleration. But that’s not enough for us at BMW.'
Our spy photographers have snapped new pictures of the BMW i4 in a slightly hotter form. They show a BMW i4 with M-style mirrors as well as blue brake calipers and a wider rear track. Munich has confirmed its M division will work on a hotter variant of the i4 EV, and these pictures appear to show the first fruits of that work.
We're expecting the i4 to follow the same route as the Porsche Taycan; there'll be a slightly faster Turbo S or Turbo version, flanked by cheaper variants.
Keep reading for more on the BMW i4.
BMW i4: everything you need to know
BMW’s electric push begins with this, the Concept i4 Gran Coupe. Unveiled online – instead of the cancelled Geneva motor show – the new concept previews the forthcoming production i4, expected in 2021. It’s a hugely significant car for Munich; the first proper EV since the i3, and the beginning of a glut of i cars – think iX3 to iX5.
Give us some specs?
It’s just a concept, but the specs will likely mirror what we see in the production model. With that in mind, BMW says the Concept i4 will have a range of 373 miles (WLTP), 523bhp, and a top speed of 124mph. Acceleration is as brutal as you’d expect from an electric Gran Coupe: the 0-62mph sprint takes around 4.0 seconds. Competitive, and around the same as of one Beemer’s own V8-powered cars.
But instead of an eight-cylinder block, the Concept i4 uses an 80kWh battery weighing just 550kg.
Forthcoming electric cars
It looks like the 4-series concept?
Those paying attention to Munich’s latest designs will see some similarities to the rather poorly received Concept 4 – and that’s no accident. There are some design flourishes here purely reserved for BMW’s BEVs, but on the whole, the i4 is designed to look familiar to the usual customer base.
In this case, that means a 8-series-lite rear end, some sharp front-light clusters – and a rather large grille.
What about the EV-specific bits of design?
Firstly, it has bits of blue on it. In 2020, Munich – and other car companies, to be fair – are still using flashes of blue to signify electric power. The Concept i4 has licks of blue paint on the diffuser and other parts of the car, but there are some other, more prominent differences.
As with the majority of EVs, aerodynamic efficiency is a key focus. That means the grille is still present but blocked-out, and filled with sensors instead of vents. BMW is calling it a ‘intelligence panel’ and it’s a lot like the Polestar Precept concept shown earlier this year.
The Concept i4 is very much a concept, but there are some key features which will surely make it to production. A curved display is already confirmed as making it into the i4 and iX5, and iDrive has also survived the jump to electric power.
When can I buy it?
Production i4s should start rolling out of BMW’s main plant in 2021. Extra tooling – mainly for the rear of the car – will require an investment of €200 million. BMW really is hoping it’ll sell...