BMW i4 | High-volume BEV
Depending on which side of the fence you sit, BMW have a certain reputation; they either produce some of the finest sportscars (M3, 4, & 5), or some of the best SUVs. If we could have a third side of the fence, you could also include well-bred saloon cars.
The one thing that they all have in common is BMW engineering, which could be argued to be some of the best in the automotive industry – the BMW 3 Series has been a perpetual best-seller for decades, and that’s before we get to the 5 Series and executive saloons.
But as with all manufacturers, BMW are now looking to the future, specifically electrification, and you’d be brave to bet against them dominating this market also.
BMW i4 – Electrification for the Masses
BMWs first forays in to the electric market have been successful – the i3 and i8 proving to be very popular, but manufactured on a relatively small scale (for BMW), the new i4 is going to change that.
This is the first all-electric vehicle that BMW will be producing in volume, at least once the launch editions are out, and not only does this mean that prices should be competitive, but it will also allow for further editions later on, such as cheaper, smaller battery variants.
Frank Weber, Head of Development for BMW is clear:
“What is essential at this point for us is with the i4 and the iX we are attracting BMW customers in high-volume segments. The i3 and the i8 were low-volume approaches to electrification. This is high-volume production and we are expanding our fleet of vehicles.
By the year 2024 we will have a BEV in every one of our big-selling segments. What you’ll also see is that the i4 has different battery choices. This is not so different from the product line-up you see on conventional vehicles. There will be an entry high-voltage battery that lowers the price point, and we have a larger high-voltage battery that is for the larger models.”
Currently, there are just two i4 models to choose from – the eDrive40, and the xDriveM50.
As you’ve probably guessed, the ‘M’ denotes something a little more action-packed.
The eDrive40 has 335 horsepower, which gives it a 0-62 mph time of 5.7 seconds, and a top speed of 118 mph, but a rather impressive range of 367-miles, whereas the xDriveM50 boosts the power to 537 horsepower, with a 140 mph top speed, and a 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds (that’s faster than an M3), but the range is reduced slightly.
They’re built on the BMW CLAR modular cluster architecture, and use a super-slim lithium-ion battery pack which is fitted under the passenger floor, it’s an 81kWh battery so has plenty of power.
Both versions use a newer version of BMWs dynamic stability control, and the engineers at BMW say that it reacts ten times faster than the normal system.
The new i4 is aimed squarely at the competition, specifically the Tesla Model 3, and (in our opinion) it looks like it might just have the beating of it, but why not come and see for yourself?
Give one of the team a ring today and make arrangements to sample it for yourself, we’re pretty sure you’ll be happy with the outcome.
Wed 01 December 2021 00.00