BMW's Tesla Model 3-rivalling electric four-door coupe promises 435-mile range and "redefining" performance
2 October 2018

BMW is doubling down on its plans to expand its dedicated range of electric-powered i models with a four-door coupé-style i4 saloon, due by 2021.

The expansion of the EV sub-brand follows a ruling by the EU to enforce a fleet average CO2 emission reduction of 35% for 2030. The ruling, which effectively spells an end to the combustion engine as a sole source of propulsion for high-volume cars sold in Europe by the end of the next decade, was expected by BMW’s top management.

BMW iX3 electric SUV spotted in near-production guise

They initiated an acceleration in the development of both long-range plug-in hybrids and pure-electric models in a board meeting held earlier this year. Speaking to Autocar at the recent Paris motor show, BMW chairman Harald Krüger confirmed the altered i division plan, which aims to enable the German car maker to offer more pure-electric cars than any premium brand rival in the short term.

It calls for the introduction of up to five dedicated i models by the end of 2021, with tentative steps to expand to 12 electric-powered models within the whole of the BMW Group, including Mini and Rolls-Royce, by 2025.

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Among the i models at the centre of BMW’s electrification strategy is a further developed version of the continuously evolving i3, an all-electric Mini, the BMW iX3 SUV and the all-new i4. BMW will follow that with a more advanced range of premium electric cars boasting solid-state battery technology and autonomous driving features, previewed with the latest iNext concept.

Whereas the i3, Mini Cooper E and iX3 will be familiar designs, Krüger has described the i4 as a Tesla Model 3 rival. Sources suggest it will be based on a modified platform from the new second-generation 4 Series – itself similar to the CLAR structure that underpins the new 3 Series.

The i4 is set to draw heavily on the design of the four-door i Vision Dynamics concept revealed at last year’s Frankfurt motor show. Krüger said it will have a range of up to 435 miles and “redefine what is possible today for 0-62mph times”.

“The leading factors that will set it apart are fantastic design, which is very different to anything else on the road, and the fact that it is lighter and therefore more dynamic than anything we see on the market today, thanks to the materials we will use. Couple that with the connectivity technology we are constantly developing and we are confident it will lead the market” Krüger continued.

Sources suggest BMW is considering two drivetrain options for the i4. The first uses a front-mounted electric motor in combination with a fixed ratio gearbox and an electric propeller shaft to channel drive to the rear wheels. This layout would give the i4 traditional BMW traits and, according to one source, the best possible weight distribution.

The second, and more costly, option is to use two electric motors, one driving the front wheels and a second within the rear axle assembly driving the rear wheels. 

Similar to the system that’s set to appear on the iX3 next year, it offers the choice between front- and four-wheel drive, depending on the drive mode that is selected. To achieve performance targets similar to those of the current 335d, BMW is banking on a total output for the electric motor set-up of the i4, whether as a single unit or dual units front and rear, of approximately 350bhp.

During a press conference at the Geneva motor show in March, Krüger said the i4 will be built in Munich, suggesting it could run down the same production line as the second generation 4 Series.

If the landmark EU ruling on CO2 emissions is ratified by all member states, it will force BMW to adhere to a fleet average CO2 limit of around 70g/km by 2030 – a significant 52g/km less than the existing 122g/km announced by the company back in March. To achieve this, Krüger has given not only the green light for 12 pure-electric models but also 25 plug-in hybrids by 2025.

BMW's electric revolution begins in the sales charts

BMW’s sales of electrified models have increased rapidly in the past two years. In January 2017, it registered 5232 plug-in vehicles globally, but that figure had more than doubled to 13,271 by December. The company has registered on average more than 10,000 electrified models a month in 2018.

These registrations are more significant viewed as a percentage of BMW’s total sales figures. In January 2017, this was an unremarkable 3.2%, but this August, it was 6.7%. Surprisingly, the most popular plug-in BMW Group model in 2017 was the all-electric i3 – a car that has been in showrooms since 2013 and failed to meet targets for many of its years on sale.

A total of 31,482 were registered in 2017, nearly double the number in 2014. Despite this, BMW still has a long way to go to achieve its 2020 target of 500,000 electrified vehicles sold annually

 

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BMW M8 targets luxury rivals

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Comments
19

6 March 2018

Looks like BMW are trying to steal the I-Pace and E-Tron thunder by making announcements about cars that don't even exist in a test/pre-production phase. 

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typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

26 April 2018

I'm happy to see that BMW is offering an electric auto for sale to the public. That is cool. The half and half I have now is one of the slightest costly autos I've ever had. I had a BMW 318i convertible once, a definitive driving machine My first auto was in 2006 when I got on my first TV demonstrate - a BMW 328i2 four-entryway car in the slate-dark. That was an incredible day, that was. BMW is extremely amazing brand ever. and furthermore, we are honored with a group of qualified composes. We have PhDs and Masters from different fields with british essay writer and tremendous encounters.

1 November 2018

Huh?

Reads weird, like a Chinese instruction manual 

 

1 May 2018

Looks like BMW are trying to steal the I-Pace and E-Tron thunder by making announcements about cars that don't even exist in a test/pre-production phase. 

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12 June 2018

I had a BMW 318i convertible once, a definitive driving system My first vehicle was in 2006 once I got on my first TV show - a BMW 328i2 4-entryway automobile within the slate-darkish. That changed into a remarkable day, that changed into. BMW is extraordinarily outstanding logo ever. Cheap Essay Writing Service 

 

1 November 2018

Cheap essay writing service! What a laugh. The robots are quite some way from taking over the world. 

Now that car... going to redefine what’s possible for 0-60 times & having approx 350hp - doesn’t add up where Tesla’s comfortably break the 3 sec 0-60 sprint .id buy that car of the grill wasn’t so ugly. Then again, if the acceleration is as promised & it drives like a beemer should (like the last gen LCI m sport 3 series, not the wobbly jellies they have been serving up since),  it wouldn’t look so bad in black....

29 October 2018

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1 November 2018

Please piss off

1 November 2018

This forum is so Jurassic.  Come on Autocar can't you at least give us a bot that gets rid of crap like the above, plus the ability to edit.  Something simple will do, perhaps along the lines of every other damn forum in the whole universe.

 

TS7

1 November 2018

...one could make the case that pistonheads is intended as Haymarket's motoring forum. By 'neglecting' Autocar's very substandard, one can hardly even call it a forum, 'posting areas', we are perhaps being forced over there instead. 

275not599 wrote:

This forum is so Jurassic.  Come on Autocar can't you at least give us a bot that gets rid of crap like the above, plus the ability to edit.  Something simple will do, perhaps along the lines of every other damn forum in the whole universe

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