The long-awaited successor to the pioneering i3 is on the way. BMW has unveiled the i4 Gran Coupe, a four-door premium midsize coupe. The company is presenting it as a concept, but says it will enter production in 2021.
The new EV features the fifth generation of BMW’s eDrive powertrain—the electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and high-voltage battery have all been newly developed for the i4. The motor generates maximum output of up to 390 kW/530 hp—roughly equivalent to a current BMW V8 combustion engine. The battery features slim construction, weighs 550 kg, and has a capacity of around 80 kWh.
The i4 is expected to deliver an EPA range of 270 miles (WLTP), a 0-62 time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed over 124 mph.
The interior, which BMW says “focuses on those times when the driver chooses to pilot the car themselves,” features a new Curved Display, which represents “a new take on driver orientation.” The presentation surfaces of the information display and control display merge into a single unit, an arrangement designed to “optimize presentation of information and make the display’s touch operation more intuitive.”
Taking a page from Tesla’s book, BMW has integrated “almost all operating functions into the display as part of an overall approach centered on reducing the number of haptic controls to the minimum. Even the climate control system now works by touch control.”
The BMW Concept i4 features “its own visionary and unique sound,” which was developed by composer Hans Zimmer and BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale.
Series production is to begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich. Legacy vehicles, PHEVs and EVs will be manufactured on the same assembly line.
Integrating the BMW i4 into the existing production system represents a challenging task – some 10 percent of existing production equipment in the body shop will need to be newly built, including a new piece of equipment for installing of the high-voltage battery, which will need to be fitted to the car from below. BMW plans to invest some 200 million euros in Plant Munich to bring the BMW i4 into production.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior VP of BMW Group Design. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission.”
Source: BMW via motor1