BMW has revealed the Concept i4 which previews the production i4, the brand’s second series electric vehicle after the iX3.
BMW teamed up with Hans Zimmer, famous for his numerous film scores, to compose a distinct sound for the concept. The sound is meant to fill in for the lack of engine noise and varies depending on the selected drive mode, i.e. more hushed during the normal mode and more intense when the concept is switched into a sport setting.
The production i4 is confirmed to be coming with an 80-kilowatt-hour battery and range of 373 miles, likely in a flagship grade. The range figure is based on the more lenient WLTP cycle used overseas but should still come in higher than 300 miles when measured by the EPA. This will make it competitive with potential rivals such as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.
First, some background. The Concept i4 was created to set the stage for the i4, BMW’s fully electrified, coupé-like sedan that will see production in 2022. The BEV four-door is BMW’s first pure EV to share a chassis with an internal combustion offering, in this case the 4 Series Gran Coupé. The i4 strays from the i brand’s expensive and difficult to produce carbon fiber chassis, bringing electrification into a more attainable realm. Though this concept doesn’t necessarily represent the final product, don’t be surprised if you find many of its styling cues and unique features in the 2022 street car.
The battery is BMW’s fifth-generation design, which is more compact on a per kwh basis than BMW’s earlier batteries, though it will still be a hefty thing at about 1,212 pounds in the i4. The latest battery is also able to accept a 150-kilowatt fast charge that BMW has said will charge to 80 percent in about 35 minutes.
A powertrain likely consisting of an electric motor at each axle will deliver a peak 523 horsepower in the i4, or enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in under four seconds. That’s likely more power than what the future M4 will have by the way. The top speed of the i4 will be limited but will still come in higher than 124 mph, BMW said.
The i4’s exterior proportions are similarly restrained, with clean, subtly faceted sheetmetal that manages to be angular but not necessarily overtly sharp. When examining these shapes in person your eye tends to roll across the silhouette, which flows across the clear-roofed greenhouse with an easy rhythm that tapers off with a fast, swept back C-pillar. Out back, an angular rear diffuser hints at the vehicle’s aerodynamic aspirations, yet isn’t cluttered with any familiar tailpipe hardware.