BMW’s First-Ever Four-Door E-Grand Coupe, The Electrifying BMW i4

New Car
Afiq Saha | 19-08-2021 12:15 PM

Eagerly awaited ever since its teaser, Bayerische Motoren Werke has finally revealed its first four-door Gran coupe Electric Vehicle (EV) in all its glory, the new BMW i4.

The BMW i4 combines the brand’s fabled sporting prowess and a range that convinces over long journeys with the elegant design, spaciousness and practicality of a midsize segment vehicle.

It is offered in two distinct guises, a standard trim, the i4 eDrive 40 and a high-performance trim, the i4 M50, which is the first all-electric saloon to brandish the M moniker from BMW’s M division.

First off is the i4 eDrive 40. The performance is powered by a single electric motor featuring BMW’s 5th generation eDrive technology that produces 340 hp (250 kW) of power and 430 Nm of torque.

Revving between 8,000 rpm to 17,000 rpm for the power and 5,000 rpm for the torque, its electric motor is married to a single-speed with a fixed ratio automatic gearbox that transmits all energy to the rear wheels.

With its electric drive, the BMW i4 eDrive 40 can sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds while hitting an electronically capped top speed of 190 km/h. It also promises a driving range of up to 591 km (367 miles) according to the WLTP cycle.

Second, for the performance trim, the i4 M50 comes with dual-electric motors featuring the same BMW 5th generation eDrive technology that boasts a much higher output at 544 hp (400 kW) of power and 795 Nm of torque.

Also boosting between 8,000 rpm to 17,000 rpm for the power and 5,000 rpm for the torque, its dual electric motor gets one placed under the bonnet and one at the back, with each driving the front wheels and the rear wheels independently.

Under the ‘Sport Boost’ drive mode, the two electric motors combined can dash from 0 – 100 in 3.9 seconds while hitting an electronically capped top speed of 225 km/h. However, it can only manage a driving range of up to 508 km (316 miles) based on the WLTP cycle on a full charge.

For the cell pack and charging aspects, the BMW i4 models have been built to be compatible with the 200 kW public chargers in which for the i4 eDrive 40, it can boost the range up to 102 miles in 10 minutes. At the same time, the same 10-minute charge will increase the i4 M50’s range up by 87 miles.

Furthermore, the BMW i4’s battery can be fully charged from empty to 100 percent using a wall box charger installed at home in around 8.5 hours.

Design-wise, the new BMW i4 eDrive 40’s exterior screams electric. At the front end, it is commanded by a large vertically-elongated octagonal two-piece grille that is paired to a sporty and wide stretching lower air vent.

Around the back, fitted is a large and sporty diffuser, and unlike other petrol models, the integrated exhaust system has been opted-out. That area of the diffuser has been covered up and added with sporty slim looking diffuser strakes.

More so, to ensure this aggressive-looking four-door coupe is not mistaken for a petrol- or diesel-powered BMW, the i4 eDrive 40 models have been finished with plenty of bright blue detailing. 

Noticeably, around the front and the grilles’ framing, the lower side profile that strikes from the front fender to the rear, and back around the large contrasting rear diffuser.

Speaking of which, from the side, it is longer than a 4 Series coupe thanks to its extra set of doors and paired with its sloping coupe-like roofline, the saloon portrays a silhouette that looks sleek and contemporary.

As for the wheels, they are different for each trim. The BMW i4 eDrive 40 rides on either a set of 17-inch or 18-inch, five mid-gaped spokes with white dividing three-pointed light alloys wrapped in 225/55 101Y XL rubbers.

Being a BMW, there is also an M Sport trim offered, but exclusive only for this model. It is akin to the standard specification while adding a more aggressive body kit inspired by the i4 M50 models and slightly different 18-inch alloy wheels.

The BMW i4 M50 variant sports a similar coupe-like silhouette layout as the standard trim but with a splash of its own characteristics.

Gazing at the front, the same large two-piece grille commands the presence, but, in this case, it gets a high gloss black finish. Paired with a midsize lower air vent positioned at the centre and two separating sporty side air vents, also finished in high gloss black.

Flipping to the back, on the short-hanged tailgate, fitted is a very minimal sporty lip spoiler in high gloss black. Unlike the standard model, the contrasting diffuser installed features similar stylings but with a more robust contour around the swapped-out exhaust area.

Due to it being a performance trim, areas of the blue electric detailing finish have been substituted with high gloss black equipment instead. On the side, it can be seen with a fender integrated air intake that combines with a slim lower skirting strake that stretches to the rear.

To further emphasize the i4 M50 variant’s significance from the standard i4, the side profile also features other sporty trimmings in dark grey, such as the side mirror caps and sporty side lower lips.

Exclusive for the i4 M50, it rides on a choice of either a set of 18-inch or 19-inch five double-spoke two-toned light-alloy wheels wrapped in 245/45 100Y XL at the front and 255/45 103Y XL at the rear.

Diving inside, the new interior of the i4 models feature BMW’s upgraded Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system. This huge widescreen display combines a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display with a 14.9-inch central touchscreen in a curved free-standing design that stretches across the dash.

Said display runs on the latest iDrive 8 version of BMW’s infotainment software, meaning it has the latest ‘Hey BMW’ voice activation features and a host of new personalized menu functions.

Additionally, it also supports the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring function, and it can also update its software automatically in just 20 minutes through wireless over-the-air updates.

Other than that, the new system substitutes all physical buttons for the climate control and uses the functionality of the on-screen menus or voice controls to adjust the cabin temperature.

Specific for the i4 eDrive 40 model, it has been installed with a reversing camera, automatic air conditioning, interior ambient lighting and in the M Sport trim, the seats come with suede-like Alcantara upholsteries.

Alternatively, in the i4 M50 model, it tops the list with leather-clad electric sports seats with a memory function, seatbelts with M-colored embroideries and a wireless phone charging pad.

Moving on to the safety technology, for both the i4 models’ active safety, it features BMW’s standard set of suites that include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).

Apart from that, also installed are the near-actuator wheel slip limitation tech (ARB), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Dry Braking Function, Fading Compensation, Drive-off Assistant, Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Trailer Stability Control (TSC).

On the other hand, the passive safety features front and side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front and passenger seats, three-point inertia-reel seatbelts for all seats with pretensioners and force limiter in the front, crash sensor and tyre pressure indicator.

The BMW i4 eDrive 40 models carry a price tag of £51,905 (RM 298,746) for the standard trim and £53,405 (RM 307,314) for the M Sport trim. As for the BMW i4 M50 variant, it is priced at £63,905 (RM 367,783).

All in all, upon its scheduled launch this November for the European market, the Munich based company’s new BMW i4 eDrive 40 and i4 eDrive M50 will truly solidify the brand’s efforts in the EV war.

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