BMW Concept i4: prices, specifications and release date

BMW's second wave of electric cars is on the way and this, the Concept i4, will be the first to hit the road in 2021

John Evans
Mar 24, 2020

Its name suggests it’ll never see the light of day but in fact the Concept i4, an electric saloon to rival the Tesla Model 3, will go on sale in the middle of 2021 looking largely as it does in these pictures and labelled simply as the i4.

When that happens, it’ll be only the third 'i' badged model to emerge from BMW after the i3 hatchback and the i8 sports car, launched in 2013 and 2104 respectively. That said, the car maker is also set to launch the iNext, an SUV to rival the Audi e-Tron, at some point in 2021. This and the i4 will be the first of a series of electric cars BMW plans to roll out between 2021 and 2025.

The Concept i4 is based on the new 4 Series Gran Coupe due out later this year. BMW uses the term 'Gran Coupe' to refer to a sleek model that still offers four doors and a hatchback, plus a roomier rear interior than a typical sporty two-door coupe. It is set to offer impressive electric range, strong performance and some striking design features which point towards the styling of other future electric BMWs, according to the company.

Quick facts

  • Only the third electric BMW
  • Based on the forthcoming 4 Series
  • Due on sale mid-2021
  • Up to 373 miles of range
  • Electric motor produces 530hp
  • 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds

BMW Concept i4 design

Unlike the controversially styled i3, the i4 is a more conventional shape with a distinct bonnet, cabin and boot. To maximise the car’s range it has a very slippery, aerodynamic shape with a low profile and details including flush-fitting door handles and unique alloy wheels. One of its most striking features is the boldly enlarged BMW kidney grille and quad headlights at the front. There are also illuminated blue elements in the grille, along the sides and in the rear diffuser, identifying that this is an electric BMW.

Thanks to its sleek lines, BMW is branding the i4 as a coupe, but it has four doors and a long distance between front and rear wheels, which mean it should provide a spacious rear interior, making it a true four-seater. So it’s practical, but being a BMW it’s also very driver-focused. The front is dominated by a single curved high-definition display that’s home to the instruments and media applications. Users can scroll between three different styles of presentation. This so-called Curved Display works with the new generation 'iDrive' - BMW's name for its media system controlled through a rotary wheel in front of the gearstick - that is set within a wide centre console that runs the length of the car’s interior.

BMW Concept i4 power, range and charging

The BMW i4 has a 80kWh battery and an official electric driving range figure of 373 miles. This compares favourably with the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD which has a 75kWh battery, similar performance but an official range of only 348 miles.

This new model also promises to live up to BMW’s sporting credentials with an electric motor, mounted in the front of the car, that produces 530hp, the same as some supersized BMW petrol engines and around 70hp more than the high-performance BMW M4 CS, which is a similar size. It’s enough to propel the four-wheel-drive i4 from 0-62mph in just 4.0 seconds and on to 124mph. The i4 is also expected to be offered in rear-wheel drive form - the format that BMW traditionally used across its entire range - but with a smaller capacity battery.

BMW hasn’t quoted charge times for the i4’s 80kWh battery yet. Currently the car maker offers owners membership of a convenient charging scheme operated in conjunction with Chargemaster and accessed via a BMW i ChargeNow Plus card. This should make it easier to charge the car up while travelling.

However, regardless of how this may simplify locating and accessing charge, it’s not as convenient as Tesla’s exclusive Supercharger network of charging points, which are now dotted around the world and all very simple to use for Tesla drivers.

BMW Concept i4 technology

Like many electric cars, the BMW i4 is likely to have a high level of vehicle monitoring capability and the kind of semi-autonomous driver assistance features and connected services that are a perfect fit with electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, BMW claims the i4’s battery and power management systems use what it calls fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology that has resulted in a slimmer and, at 550kg, lighter battery than others with a similar driving range. This helps to boost range and acceleration and should make the car more agile around corners than those with bulkier battery packs.

BMW Concept i4 prices and launch date

We've had no confirmation about pricing for the BMW i4, but given that the most expensive 4 Series Gran Coupe currently costs £48,000 and a likely rival in the Tesla Model 3 costs between £47,000 and £52,000 depending on which version, we'd expect the i4 to cost from around £58,000. The new model will be launched in the UK in the middle of 2021.

 

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