Bmw i4 – the next prank follows immediately

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BMW i4

The next prank follows immediately

At the end of 2021, BMW will launch another model with an electric drive: the i4. First test drive in the prototype.

Still camouflaged: Prototype of the BMW i4 M50 with all-wheel drive.

The i3 was probably something of a test balloon for BMW. In 2013, well before the big e-car boom, the group had an e-car on the road and was able to gain experience with it.

What has been learned from the i3: Expensive lightweight construction and a vehicle platform designed specifically and exclusively for a car with an electric drive are hardly profitable, especially in price segments suitable for the masses.

Lightweight construction can significantly reduce consumption in a car with a combustion engine, especially in city traffic, where you lose a lot of energy when the high mass has to be accelerated again and again. In a car with an electric drive, however, this can be compensated for to a large extent; because when braking, the higher the weight, the more energy is recuperated. The aerodynamics are much more important with the Stromer, especially when it comes to keeping consumption low and thus the range high on the freeway. This is why significantly less expensive lightweight materials are used in the newer generation of BMW e-cars. While the i3 was still based on an independent platform, BMW is now building the models with electric drive on flexible basic architectures, as are also used for models with combustion or plug-in hybrid drive. This saves costs and allows the manufacturer greater flexibility to respond to market demand.

The new i4, which will be on the road from the end of the year, is based on the “conventional” 4 Series, but in a four-door “Gran Coupe” version, which is not yet available for the models with combustion engines. The black surface on the front is particularly striking. Where the models with conventional drives have a large radiator grille, the front of the e-car is completely closed. In addition, the Stromer has recessed door handles to optimize aerodynamics and streamlined wheels.

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-immediately

The entry-level model with rear-wheel drive will be available from just under 70,000 francs.

At the rear, a diffuser ensures the smoothest possible airflow, with the lack of tailpipes also helping. As is usual with modern e-cars, the batteries are mounted under the floor and offer a net storage capacity of 83.5 kWh. When developing the batteries, the Bavarians benefited from the experience gained from the i3. In this way, the energy density could be increased by 20%. In addition, the battery is designed in such a way that individual cells can be replaced in the event of a defect. The power storage should also be able to be recycled up to 90% at the end of its life cycle. But first of all, it should ensure sufficient range and fast charging: According to WLTP measurements, it should be up to 590 kilometers in the basic model with rear-wheel drive; BMW expects a consumption of 16 to 20 kWh/100 km. The battery is charged with a maximum of 210 kW; this adds a range of up to 164 kilometers in 10 minutes.

BMW was also able to increase the power density of the electric motor; by 30% compared to the i3. This gives the machine a maximum of 250 kW (340 hp) and 430 Nm of torque. The sprint to 100 km/h should be done in less than six seconds. More important for efficiency in everyday life: The motor can recuperate with up to 116 kW and thus recover energy in the battery. As a more powerful variant with all-wheel drive, BMW is launching the i4 M50 – and thus launching a sporty “M-Performance” model with electric drive for the first time. Thanks to an additional electric motor on the front axle, 400 kW (544 hp) and 795 Nm of torque are available here. The sprint to 100 km/h takes less than four seconds. Despite stronger recuperation (up to 195 kW), the sporty all-wheel drive vehicle has slightly higher fuel consumption; the range is correspondingly smaller at 510 kilometers. Both models impress on the first test drive with very good suspension comfort and excellent noise insulation, which makes the four-door coupe with 470 liters of luggage space a good touring car. The latest generation of the BMW operating system with a large touchscreen helps when planning the route with suitable charging stations.

With a sporty ride, the high weight is well concealed by the low center of gravity. Thanks to direct steering and immediate acceleration, the car feels quite sporty and handy – despite or precisely because of the electric drive.

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-immediately

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BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-follows

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-prank

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-prank

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-immediately

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-prank

BMW i4 - The next prank follows immediately-immediately

BMW i4 M50

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