BMW has fully detailed the production version of its new i4 electric saloon, promising up to 536bhp from an M-badged variant and a maximum range of 367 miles.
Based on a specially adapted version of the 3 Series’ CLAR architecture, the i4 is aimed at the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3, but in top-spec M50 form it will offer performance that rivals the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-tron GT. It will launch in the UK in November, priced from £51,905.
It will be available initially in rear-driven 335bhp eDrive40, in Sport and M Sport trims, and 536bhp M50 xDrive forms.
In the UK, 18in wheels will be standard on all models, and entry level eDrive 40 Sport cars will feature black of gloss aluminium interior trim and gloss exterior trim elements. M Sport trim, which starts at £53,405, adds bespoke exterior styling elements and alloy wheels, and a leather steering wheel.
Priced from £63,905, the M50 employs a 255bhp motor on the front axle and a 308bhp motor on the rear axle. Combined torque is put at 586lb ft, compared with 317lb ft for the eDrive40.
The M50 also gets a unique Sport Boost function that can be used to liberate the full power output for around 10 seconds when driven in Sport mode. With this activated, the M50 can do 0-62mph in 3.9sec. The eDrive40 can complete the same sprint in 5.7sec.
The i4 stores its reserves in a floor-mounted 80.7kWh lithium ion battery pack, which is claimed to be 30% more power-dense than that used by today’s i3 supermini.
It can charge at rates of up to 210kW to gain up to 102 miles of range in just 10 minutes. What’s more, adjustable regenerative braking can top up the battery at rates of up to 195kW in the M50 and 116kW in the eDrive40.
Depending on tyre size and other options specified, official WLTP range is put at between 255 and 367 miles.
At 4785mm long, 1852mm wide and 1448mm tall, the i4 has similar dimensions to the 3 Series, which development boss Frank Weber highlights as crucial to its appeal.
He explained: “There will be 3 Series customers, but the i4 is also attractive because of its loading abilities and the space inside, which will also attract potential 5 Series customers – people who are looking for a sporty sedan. We’ve chosen for a good reason the exact space of the i4.”