The BMW i4 Will Basically Be an All-Electric 4 Series GT; Should Deliver 375 Miles of Range
The i4 Will Be A Mainstream Model, Unlike The i3 And i8
As evident from the i3 and the i8, the electric cars from BMW until now were very different from the regular BMW models. They had a unique construction and used materials like carbon fiber, which are difficult to ramp up into larger-scale production.
The i4, on the other hand, is based on the BMW’s latest CLAR Platform which is a modular architecture designed to underpin everything from the 3 Series up to the 7 Series.
It can also accommodate petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and pure-electric powertrains.
The i4 will also be treated as a variant of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, and not a standalone electric model like the i3 and the i8; which makes sense because the i4 even shares the underpinnings with its combustion engine siblings. Some sources suggest that the i4 will have the same profile as the Gran Coupe, but with a raised stance as the batteries need to be placed closer to the vertical position of the car’s axles.
BMW Will Have Five Electric Models Within The Next Three Years
At the recently concluded Paris Motor Show, BMW announced that the i4 will be launched after the iX3 all-electric SUV and the production version of the iNext.
BMW’s boss, Harald Kruger, confirmed the timelines for the all-electric models, “We have already over 300,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the road, and more are on the way. In 2019 we’ll launch the MINI Electric. In 2020 the BMW iX3 will come. Then in 2021, we will launch the BMW iNEXT and the i4, so by that year, we will have five core electric vehicles on the ground. This underlines our strong commitment to future mobility.”
Fly In The Ointment Addressed
Long range has not been BMW’s strong suit; neither with the i3, nor the i8. The rivals have always been a step or two ahead of the German automaker; but this time, it plans to overcome this shortcoming. BMW will deliver a range to rival the likes of Tesla Model S, which delivers as much as 375 miles. Addressing this, BMW’s head of i division, Robert Irlinger said, “We asked the customers; it seems to be that the starting point for i3 in the early days was okay. But it seems that now, 186 miles is the minimum that you can offer to have an accepted range for customers. Then there’s competition - Tesla, Audi, and Mercedes are doing 250 miles in WLTP. So, it seems to be again beyond 186 miles - up to 375 miles or 435 miles. But if you look at the numbers we’ve already spoken about, the iX3 will be beyond 248 miles, and the i4 will be around 375 miles. The iNEXT will be on top of that, as well.”
He also said that BMW could offer the i4 with a choice of battery capacities for different price points.
“It could be that different ranges are a good solution. If it’s true that 186 miles are enough for some customers, then it could be wise to do a 186 miles version, and a 375 miles version. We’ll have to look at demand, of course, because up to now, what we’ve found is that the customers tend to always buy the bigger battery anyway. But if you live in a city and do most miles there, and you have your own charging point or good infrastructure nearby, then 186 miles at a cheaper price could be fine.”
BMW is finally going ahead strongly with the i4, and is ambitious about having five electric cars in its lineup by 2021. While the automaker has addressed most of the important questions with respect to the i4, will it be too late by then?
For instance, the automaker said it will offer 375 miles on a full range that is on par with the likes of Tesla.
But in three years, won’t Tesla up its game and perhaps hit a much higher figure? We sincerely hope BMW was explaining it with current scenario and not saying that it will have a range of 375 miles only. Till then, all we can do is wait till the company actually gives us some concrete details. Are you happy with the way BMW is going forward with the i4? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i4.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.
Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW iNext Concept.
Source: Auto Express