We’re exactly a year away from the start of production of the new BMW i4. The electric four-door gran coupe will be introduced in late 2021 with sales commencing in Spring 2022. BMW i4, along with the iX, are the pillars of the new electric strategy in Munich, therefore, the expectations are quite high. The i4 is built upon the upcoming four-door 4 Series Gran Coupe and is BMW’s first attempt to fully take on Tesla and its Model 3. To be successful in a very competitive segment, the i4 will bring no less than three variants to the table – two rear-wheel drive and an xDrive.
As with all electric vehicles, the electric range will be the decisive factor in the buying process. BMW has already teased the i4 as having a 600 kilometer electric range, and that figure seems to be quite accurate. According to sources, the top range of the i4 will be in the 590-595 range on the WLTP cycle which should translate into around 280-290 miles on the more strict EPA cycle. It’s unclear which of the three models is getting this top range, but our bets are on the middle-priced model.
We’ve already learned last week that BMW will offer three variants: i435 (entry-level), i440 and i4 M50 (top model with xDrive). It’s the i4 M50 which, of course, will get the most horsepower, but usually that comes with a price – lower electric range. The entry-level i435 is likely to be the one with the lowest battery capacity, but still enough to deliver over 200 miles of range on the EPA and 490-500 kilometers on WLTP.
The top of the line i4 is tuned by the M division. This comes as no surprise as BMW M CEO Markus Flasch has already confirmed that. The model will be sold under the BMW i4 M50 badge and compared to the other two models, this one has two motors. Therefore, the i4 M50 will be the only 4 Series electric with an all-wheel drive (xDrive) setup.
Its main competitor- the Tesla Model 3 – has a maximum estimated range of 353 miles in dual-motor all-wheel drive Long Range form. The Model 3 Performance, which also gets the dual-motor powertrain, deliver 315 miles of range, while the rear-wheel drive Model 3 Standard Range Plus has 263 miles of range.
Of course, BMW will position the i4 as the more premium solution in the segment, so customers might be willing to accept a slightly lower electric range in favor of higher quality materials and enhanced features.