Despite high-tech roadsters like the i8 and massive SUV’s like the X7, BMW’s core identity has always stemmed from their premium saloon models, namely the 3 Series and 5 Series. These are two cars which have withstood the test of time more than any other BMW models, and their reputation as solid, desirable, luxurious and reliable mid-sized cars goes without saying.
Times, however, are changing. As we all shift our efforts toward becoming more environmentally friendly, BMW is a step ahead of the market. The brand has just announced the launch of the i4. It’s a purpose-built, fully electric, saloon which doesn’t just aim to shift buyers from their ever-popular 2.0-litre diesel models, but the performance figures will sway buyers from the full-blooded M Power models too.
BMW are saying that their i4 model will be capable of returning a massive 370 miles of range on a single charge when tested to WLTP standards, which puts the i4 ahead of both the new Porsche Taycan and also the Tesla Model S in terms of range. The 80 kWh battery pack will produce a monumental 523 horsepower which will enable the i4 to achieve a top speed ‘over 124 mph’ while the 0-60 mph time will be shy of 4 seconds.
When the i4 goes on sale it will come loaded with all the latest charging technology, enabling it to receive power inputs up to 150 kWh - this means that an 80% charge can be achieved in just 35 minutes on a high-speed charger. Think of it as 62 miles for every 6 minutes of charging and it all starts to make a lot of sense.
The i4 won’t actually start production until 2021 which is still some time away but there is already plenty to get excited about. It will be built exclusively in Munich alongside the 3 Series and 4 Series models. There’s not currently any official pricing on how much the car will cost just yet and no firm dates have been set for the order books opening or the official launch of the car without camouflage. In terms of the typical pre-release life cycle of a car, we’re beyond the concept stage and prior to the official unveiling, so there is still plenty to look forward to.
The i4 goes up against some incredibly tough opposition in this highly competitive marketplace, with Tesla models ruling the roost and other heavyweights such as Porsche weighing in with their models. Competition can only be a good thing though as manufacturers race to produce the most sustainable cars on the market, with reduced running costs being a welcomed byproduct of that endeavour.
Do you think the i4 will be the car that really kicks off the electric market in the premium mid-sized segment - or is it too early to tell? We want to hear your thoughts