BMW reveals near-production Concept i4 electric Gran Coupe
BMW has today pulled back the curtain on a new concept electric vehicle, but unlike other motor show flights of fancy, the i4 previews a production model due next year.
"The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand," said the company's Adrian van Hooydonk. "The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission."
As the Concept i4 all-electric, four-door Gran Coupe represents a taste of things to come when production starts in 2021, BMW has repeated the numbers revealed previously. The i4 will come with fifth generation eDrive technology found in the debuting in the upcoming iX3 crossover.
The newly-developed electric motor will produce 530 hp (390 kW), while the 80 kWh battery pack will have a per charge WLTP range of up to 600 km (372 mi). And the Gran Coupe will go from standstill to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in around four seconds, on its way to a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph).
The Concept i4 is presented in a copper finish with i-style blue accenting. The flaring nostrils of the kidney grilles to the front very much identify the car as BMW, but since they're not needed to cool an internal combustion engine, they are closed off and serve as an "intelligence panel" that's home to various sensors. The face also features classic-looking headlights made up of two freestanding LED elements on either side, and a new badge to represent BMW's future focus.
The vehicle has a long wheelbase and short overhangs, with the rear sitting low over the road. The sloping fastback roofline ends in L-shaped rear lights, with angled lips below for enhanced aerodynamics. Diffuser elements sit where the exhausts might be found on a combustion engine car. Aero wheel rims designed exclusively for the Concept i4 feature low-weight/high-strength spokes.
The all-electric drivetrain allows for a roomy, uncluttered cabin, with a curved display in front of the steering wheel that previews what we can expect in the production i4, and the iNext. The instrument panel and the rest of the touch-enabled display are angled toward the driver here, with the aim of reducing the number of physical controls available to the driver. Non-reflective glass negates the need for panel shrouding.
Three Experience Modes are offered by the panel, to control core features and view vehicle status information, access driving aids, and to dig deeper into the car's tech (such as seeing what's being detected by the i4's sensors). And a suite of special sounds have been created in collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer, to bring the car to life for its occupants.
Rear passengers are treated to a lounge-like feel, with "levels of headroom and legroom that exceed expectations of a coupe."
Production of the i4 will start in 2021 at BMW's main facility in Munich, where about 90 percent of the existing equipment can be adapted to build the i4 but 10 percent will need to be brought in new. The video below has more.