Several automobile brands have cancelled or postponed their product launches because of the COVID-19 outbreak but there are some models which have escaped the throes of the global pandemic. The BMW i4 sedan (or Gran Coupe) is one such model whose launch in 2021 remains unaffected.
In an interview with Austria’s Industrie Magazin, BMW’s Head of Digitization Shop Floor and Cyber Security Mr Michael Schmidt and Head of Test and Digital Commissioning Mr Markus Baumann have confirmed that the final preparations for the production of BMW i4 are underway in Munich. The plant in Munich is currently getting ready to be updated with over 1,000 robots being converted in assembly and body construction. The process of updating the plant will happen between July and September 2020. Mr Baumann has said the company is very confident (about the launch) and the project is on track.
Pure electric BMW i4 & BMW i7 are making life difficult for the M family
Last month we came across a report on BMW replacing the V12 engine with an equally if not more capable electric powertrain for the next-generation 7 Series, and what we’re reporting today is another example of how BMW has rediscovered electric vehicle tech.
Autocar.co.uk has claimed that the production BMW i4 will have a dual-motor setup with 523 hp and approximately 813 Nm of torque. If those figures come true, then the ‘performance’ version of the 4 Series, the M4, will loose the title of being the quickest in its family by a margin.
BMW has not revealed the new M4 yet, but its inline-six should put out about 500 hp and 600 Nm, if the engine is carried over without major changes from the X4 Competition. So the only real ‘feature’ for the M4 in a drag race could be the rumble of the six-cylinder engine as the i4 pulls away cleanly with the instant torque.
One aspect the M4 would enjoy an advantage is the handling as the heavy battery pack would unfavorably affect the vehicle dynamics, and not all BMW enthusiasts may find the i4 to their liking. That said, the rapid advancement in battery technology is making them lighter and more efficient and by the time the second generation BMW i4 comes out towards the end of this decade, the M4 could face an existential crisis.
26 March 2020 –
Youtube superstar Supercar Blondie has uploaded a video detailing the BMW i4 Concept throwing light on the smaller yet significant details of the near-production concept vehicle. Did you know that the globally-acclaimed music composer Hans Zimmer has developed the Concept i4’s “own visionary and unique sound” to replace the sound of the petrol engine that enables a better connect between the car and the driver?
4 March 2020 –
BMW i4 Concept revealed
The wraps have come off the BMW i4 Concept and its big grille to preview how the i4 will look like when it goes into production in 2021. The i4 will be the first fully electric car from BMW globally to share its chassis with an ICE model, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Readers would recall BMW & Brilliance Automotive doing the electric version of the first generation BMW X1 in China as the Zinoro 1E.
The i4 will gain the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology that will be first applied to the new BMW iX3 in 2020. It will be powered by an 80 kWh battery and the electric motor makes a maximum power of 390 kW (523 hp). The battery weighs around 550 kg and offers a range of up to 600 km in the WLTP cycle. Proving its performance-oriented character, the i4 can race from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds and attain a top speed of over 200 km/h.
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.Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design
The double kidney grille is so large that you could probably see it coming from the other end of the highway. The twin LED headlamps connect to BMW’s older and current headlamp layout. As big as it is, the kidney grille is closed off and houses various sensors and is being called an intelligence panel by BMW, and comes surrounded by a blue accent. At the back, sleek L-shaped LED tail lamps top off the sharp design of the i4 concept.
Inside, the dashboard gets a neat layout with a wide screen connecting the instrument cluster and the centre console, similar to what you can see in Mercedes cars.
Rear-seat passengers, BMW says, will have a level of headroom and legroom that exceeds expectations from a coupe. The back seats extend the horizontal graphic emanating from the doors to create a lounge-like feel. They also make use of very little stitching, to emphasise the clean and modern feel.