A major realignment of BMW’s strategy is set to result in electric versions of up to three models in its current line-up — including a secret zero-emissions variant of the upcoming 4 Series GT — alongside new and updated versions of its dedicated electric i-brand models within the next three years.
The battery-powered five-door liftback 4 Series GT is tentatively scheduled to go on sale in the UK in 2020. It is one of a raft of models to be based on the newly developed underpinnings of the eighth-generation 3 Series, according to highly placed insiders at the German car maker.
BMW is already aiming for 100,000 combined electric and hybrid sales this year under plans recently revealed by chairman Harald Krüger.
The electrically powered 4 Series GT model has been conceived to offer performance on a par with the fastest of today’s 3 Series GT models, the 317bhp 335d GT, together with an overall range of up to 311 miles (500km) and a starting price of less than £40,000. The intention is to allow it to compete with the Tesla Model 3.
The new 4 Series GT is set to be launched in petrol, electric and plug-in hybrid variants in 2019. It will act as a replacement for today’s 3 Series GT while indirectly replacing the slow-selling 4 Series Gran Coupé in a move similar to that set to be taken by the larger and more expensive 6 Series GT. Less than a year after that, BMW will introduce the electric variant of the new five-seater.
BMW is weighing up two electric driveline options for its new Model 3 rival, with a decision expected by the end of this year prior to the construction of road-going prototypes early next year.