The long-awaited successor of the BMW i3 electric vehicle, the i4 model, is set to enter production next year after BMW released its concept version on Tuesday.
BMW released a concept version of its much anticipated i4 electric vehicle during an online presentation. The car company had originally planned to release the presentation at the popular Geneva Motor Show. But concerns about corona virus lead to the cancellation of the show in its physical format. The organizers instead brought about an online version of the show which BMW participated in.
The BMW i4 will succeed the commercially successful i3 model. The i-series is a sub-brand of BMW that was launched in 2011. However, the i4 will be the maker’s first all electric model in the premium midsize class. The arrival of the BMW i4 is long overdue since its would-be predecessor was released in September 2013, almost seven years ago. Alongside the BMW iX3 and BMW iNEXT, the German automaker has three electric vehicles in the pipeline.
The iX3, which is an all-electric SUV, will be released before the end of 2020 while the iNEXT, an all-electric crossover, will enter the market next year. These vehicles like the BMW i4 will operate on the company’s upcoming fifth-generation electric powertrain.
BMW concept i4 design
Since BMW has already released the i4’s specs, the presentation was based on the vehicle’s design. And Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk described the concept i4’s design in three words – dynamic, clean and elegant.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand. The design is dynamic, clean, and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission,” van Hooydonk said.
The concept i4 features the sub-brand’s familiar kidney grille design. However, the concept i4’s grille has been upgraded physically and functionally. According to BMW, the concept’s grille will house various sensors. The concept will exhibit strong aerodynamic performance due to its streamlined long, slim L-shaped rear. Specially designed wheel rims allow the concept i4 to combine lightweight design with top-notch aerodynamics performance.
The interior is essentially the classic BMW’s driver-focused environment with some improvements. The information and the control displays have been merged into a single unit inclined towards the driver. In fact, every functionality in the front of the cabin is focused on the driver. Overall, the i4 concept has an airy cockpit that isn’t clustered with elements. Head of BMW Design Domagoj Dukec said a lot of attention was paid to the design of the i4 concept.
“The design of the BMW Concept i4 shows fantastic proportions, a powerfully expressive character and, of course, a lot of attention to detail. With the BMW Curved Display, we have redefined BMW’s signature driver focus in an extremely elegant way. At the same time, the BMW Concept i4 transports a feeling of sustainable driving pleasure, ” Dukec said.
Three different experience modes – Core, Sport and Efficient will be available to drivers. The Core mode features the usual four widgets found in current models. However, the widgets are upgraded making them easier to use, interpret and modified to suit personal preferences.
The arrangement of the widgets is different in the Sport mode. In this mode, the four widgets are closer to each other. This way, the driver can glance through all four widgets easily. The Sport mode is also good for anticipatory driving as it can show how tight an approaching corner is.
The most advanced of all the modes is the Efficient mode. Featuring an “Assisted Driving View,” this mode provides drivers with key and relevant information that promotes safer driving. BMW’s goal here is to achieve anticipatory and efficient driving. Sensors pick up information and relay it to the driver. Other information such as charge level and range are displayed on the right-hand side of the display.
BMW i4 Specs
As mentioned earlier, some of the specs of the i4 have been revealed. According to BMW, the upcoming electric car will have a range of 600 km / 373 miles on an 80kWh battery. While this is a WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) value and thus reliable, some variations will exist in real world situations. In reality, the actual range will be between 300-320 miles on a single charge.
The i4 model is a wonderful blend of sporty elegant design and top-notch performance. It can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in around 4.0 seconds, and perform to a top speed in excess of 200km/h. The impressive speed combined with virtually silent delivery of power BMW promises will provide a redefined driving experience for users.
The BMW i4 also features an upgraded and next generation charging unit capable of being charged up to 150kW. The charging unit is versatile as it will be compatible with both plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as in purely electrically powered models.
Fast charging time (around 80% of its full energy content in around 35 minutes) is one of the features of the new charging model unit.
Production will kick start next year at the BMW’s Munich plant and sale will commence after that.