The new model, due to go into production in 2021 following the forthcoming iX3, will be the German firm’s first electric saloon. Along with the regular 4 Series, the new EV was previewed by the bold 4 Series Gran Coupe concept at the Frankfurt motor show. BMW claims the i4 “heralds a new era of driving pleasure”, and will feature the firm’s “hallmark brand driving pleasure in a particularly concentrated form.”
BMW has released new official shots of the i4 undergoing winter testing, and has confirmed that it will make use of its fifth-generation eDrive system, which will also be used on the iX3 – due in 2020 – and the advanced iNext, which is set for launch in in 2021.
BMW claims the 523bhp motors will allow for a 0-62mph time of around four seconds. The firm says that output has been chosen to mirror the power of a V8 engine in current BMW models, and claims that it will offer “outstanding performance characteristics and exceptionally high efficiency”.
The latest eDrive system is built around a modular system featuring the electric motor, transmission and power electronics in a single housing, which BMW says means it can be used for a range of different models and power outputs. The i4 will feature an 80kWh high-voltage battery pack that weighs around 550kg and gives a claimed range of around 373 miles. The battery can be charged at rates of up to 150kW.
However, a side-on view reveals that the new car appears higher off the ground (both in terms of roof height and ground clearance) than the current 4 Series, likely due to a raised floor to accommodate the sizeable long-range battery.