BMW Concept i4: electric Gran Coupe revealed

Published: 03 March 2020

► The new i4 in near production spec
► 373 mile range, 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds
► Coming in 2021

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. 

And inside?

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... 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast