BMW’s initially mid-sized electric powered saloon seems to have been a very long time coming, even if it is approximately nine several years due to the fact the corporation started off its EV journey with the revolutionary i3 hatchback way back again in 2013.
In reality, it seems to have been that i3 practical experience that has slowed BMW’s transfer into the mainstream EV current market, to problem established arrivals from Tesla, Porsche and Mercedes. Whereas the i3 was a courageous and radical very little auto that didn’t pretty get the job done (and neither did its similarly novel supercar stablemate, the i8), this new i4 sits at the other conclusion of the engineering and styling spectrum.
Rather of having the I’m-electric-so-I’m-various route, it adopts a judiciously modified version of a properly-tested platform, now utilized for standard 3 and 4 Collection versions, and also adopts rather common Gran Sport four-door entire body styling that appears to be smooth and sporty but doesn’t frighten the horses. Not that the i4 is any the worse for this company pragmatism: it’s a totally eye-catching, ideally sized and perfectly-proportioned vehicle. But it is intriguing to see that BMW now believes consumers of mid-sized EV saloons, quite a few of them business enterprise user-choosers, are already getting a major plenty of step in ditching ICE, and do not want to be challenged to undertake an unsettling new search and entire body layout as nicely.
The i4 has just about the very same proportions and road footprint as a 3 Sequence. Its tracks are a tiny wider, and its centre of gravity is lessen mainly because the battery is primarily carried underneath the flooring (and a minimal little bit in what utilized to be the transmission tunnel).
Stage closer and discrepancies turn into clear. Lengthy accents on the body sides give the car its possess character and promote the existence of the 80.7kWh (internet) lithium ion battery. At the front, there are quite slender LED headlights possibly facet of an angular, technical-looking iteration of BMW’s kidney grille, related to that employed on the new iX SUV. In the i4’s case, the grille is almost wholly blanked off simply because electric powered autos will need a lot less cooling. In its place, it delivers an excellent property for the car’s a variety of forward-seeking cameras.
Two types are available, the headline-grabbing 537bhp twin-motor, all-wheel-travel i4 M50 (£63,905) we have currently analyzed, and the a bit lighter, marginally calmer one-motor, rear-drive eDrive40, pushed here, with 335bhp on tap, which can be specified in either standard Sport or the M Activity trim we attempted. Our car’s most eye-catching figure is an formal assortment of 367miles on the WLTP cycle: this, additionally its £9500 decrease price tag and a very wholesome -62mph time of 5.7sec suggest the eDrive40 is the i4 model very likely to look on most British isles driveways. BMW’s start blurb helpfully factors out that the 40-model’s output “puts it on an equal footing with BMW’s most effective present in-line six-cylinder diesel”.
Offered the general performance and variety, our test car’s kerb pounds of 2125kg doesn’t appear way too poor from opponents. BMW suggests the i4’s battery, assembled with the relaxation of the auto in Munich, is now 40% much more vitality dense than that utilized in the groundbreaking i3 due to the fact its cooling, packaging and chemistry are all greater. It also uses no exceptional earth constituents and is built fully by renewable power.