New 2021 BMW i4: prices, specs and release date
The BMW Concept i4 previewed the German brand’s forthcoming rival for the Tesla Model 3
BMW will soon launch a pure-electric version of the 4 Series, which was previewed by the Concept i4 show car. The finished product will go on sale next year, providing fresh competition for the Tesla Model 3 and Citroen’s forthcoming all-electric flagship saloon.
Look past the most obvious concept car styling features of the Concept i4 – such as the intricate headlamp units, dinky door mirrors and enormous wheels – and you’re looking at the production-ready i4. It’s styling will be broadly similar to that of the new 4 Series and the upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe, with the same sloping roofline, bonnet profile and enormous kidney grilles.
Differences between the combustion-engined 4 Series model and the i4 all-electric variant will be minimal, with the latter being set apart from the former by its blanked-off ducting, blue styling elements and wide-spoke alloy wheels, whose design takes into account an EVs greater need for aerodynamic efficiency and reduced demand for brake cooling.
In addition, the BMW i4’s side skirts will be thicker than those on the standard 4 Series, which will help to conceal the car’s underfloor battery pack. A reworked rear diffuser also masks the space that would otherwise be occupied by an exhaust system.
BMW i4 interior design
The Concept i4 features a curved infotainment screen/digital gauge cluster combo – and BMW has previously confirmed that this setup will not only feature on the i4, but also the production-ready iNEXT SUV. The screen controls almost all of the vehicle’s functions, including heating and ventilation, infotainment and navigation.
The concept’s cabin is trimmed in a range of sustainable materials, including microfibre fabric and natural leather, which has been tanned using an olive leaf pigment. As on the conventional 4 Series Gran Coupe, the centre console also features BMW’s trademark iDrive rotary control dial, albeit re-trimmed in crystal glass.
BMW i4 electric powertrain
The Concept i4 features a 523bhp electric motor, which BMW says will provide a 0–62mph time of four seconds and a top speed of 124mph. The powertrain is fed by an 80kWh battery pack, which provides a maximum claimed range of 373 miles.
Drivers have their choice of three display modes for the infotainment system – “Core,” “Efficient” and “Sport” – each of which is indicated by a unique interior ambient lighting set-up. The first is an updated version of the familiar four-widget display system found on current BMW products. “Sport” mode illuminates the cabin in red, moves the gauge cluster’s widgets closer together and adds a display that shows how tight the next corner is.
“Efficient” mode changes the cabin lighting to blue and adds BMW’s new “Assisted Driving View,” which the company says offers a better insight into the i4’s technology. The left-hand screen features a unique graphic designed to encourage more economical driving, while right-hand display is dominated by a larger charge level indicator and range meter.
Prices and launch date
Prices for the new BMW i4 are still yet to be confirmed but, when it goes on sale in 2021, they’ll need to be comparable to the Tesla Model 3. Depending on spec, the i4’s American rival is priced between £39,500 and £55,500.
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