WHAT IT IS: BMW’s most conventional electric car and i brand model to date, the i4 is a fastback sedan rather similar to the gas-powered 4 Series Gran Coupe. Under the sheetmetal, though, this one is packed with batteries and electric motors. Although the unfortunate bucktooth grille is present and accounted for, it’s at least functional, housing sensors needed for advanced driver assistance systems.
WHY IT MATTERS: Whereas every other i model has been a rather extreme experiment in design, the i4 will appeal to folks interested in EVs who prefer not to drive a rolling science project. Comparatively, it’s far and away the safest bet, mixing traditional appeal with impressive range and power. It’s the first i model to get an M variant, though the i4 M50 is more of an M Sport than a full-fledged M car.
PLATFORM AND POWERTRAIN: Built on BMW’s new EV platform that’ll underpin a range of new cars, the i4 promises up to 300 miles of range and up to 536 hp, though not on the same trim level. The basic rear-drive i4 eDrive40 is the range winner, while the power-champ M50 comes in at 245 miles, as both models use the same 84-kWh battery. That battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 31 minutes on a 200-kW DC fast charger. The single-motor eDrive40 will make 335 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, enough to hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, BMW says. The dual-motor M50 makes up to 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque in overboost mode and can hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, per BMW. (Normally, it makes 469 hp and 538 lb-ft.)
ESTIMATED PRICE: The i4 eDrive40 will start at $56,395, and the i4 M50 at $66,895. Adaptive M suspension is standard on the M50 and optional on the eDrive40.
EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: Early 2022
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