BMW may have trailed its German rivals in the Indian EV race, but the Bavarian carmaker is fast making up ground. On the back of the two electric cars it recently launched – the iX SUV and the Mini Cooper SE – we will soon have the i4 sedan. BMW will be unveiling the all-electric i4 sedan on April 28 and it’s expected to go on sale later in May, and notably, will take the crown of India’s longest range EV with a claimed range of 590km.
- All-electric BMW i4 is based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe
- Gets an 83.9 kWh battery pack with range of up to 590km
- Price announcement expected by May 2022
BMW i4: what is it?
Globally unveiled in March last year, the BMW i4 is based on a specially adapted version of the 3 Series’ CLAR architecture. That means, unlike the flagship iX SUV that’s already on sale here, the i4 isn’t a grounds-up EV, but is based on an existing ICE platform. It is essentially an all-electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, which too is based on the 3 Series’ CLAR architecture.
Even in terms of design, the i4 looks largely similar to the 4 Series Gran Coupe, although it does get a few EV specific touches to set it apart. This, of course, begins with the blanked-off grille like most other ICE-turned EVs. It also gets new aero-optimised wheels, blue accents, flush door handles and tweaked front and rear bumpers.
The interior too is similar to the 4 Series Gran Coupe with a familiar layout and design. However, as the i4 is not a grounds-up EV, it misses out on the flat floor and free centre console area like we have seen on the BMW iX. Still, the highlight of the interior will be a curved twin-screen set-up consisting of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The system runs BMW’s latest iDrive 8 user interface and even supports over-the-air updates.
BMW i4: powertrain, battery and charging
Globally, the BMW i4 is available in two variants – eDrive40 and M50 xDrive – both of which are powered by a floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack having a gross (total) energy capacity of 83.9kWh and a net (usable) capacity of 80.7kWh.
We expect BMW to bring the eDrive40 variant to India, just as the iX is offered in its base-spec xDrive 40 variant. The i4 eDrive 40 gets a rear axle-mounted electric motor that produces 340hp and 430Nm, and BMW claims a 0-100kph sprint in 5.7 seconds. The i4 M50 xDrive, meanwhile, gets all-wheel drive, produces 544hp and 795Nm, and can sprint from 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds.
The i4 eDrive 40 has a claimed range of 590km (WLTP cycle), which is more than any other luxury EV currently on sale in India. The performance-oriented M50 xDrive, meanwhile, has a range of 510km (WLTP cycle). As for charging, the i4 can charge at rates of up to 200kW, adding 164km of range in the eDrive40 in just 10 minutes. It also gets regenerative braking that can top up the battery at rates of up to 116kW in the eDrive40.
BMW i4: rivals and positioning
The i4 will not have direct rivals in the market, but if launched in the higher-spec M50 xDrive variant, it could rival the likes of the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan. The i4 will certainly be positioned below the iX SUV (Rs 1.16 crore, ex-showroom) in BMW’s electric India line-up, and given its claimed range of 590km for the eDrive 40 variant, it will have a competitive advantage both in terms of usability and pricing over most other luxury EVs on sale.
Do you think the BMW i4 could become one of the bestselling luxury EVs in India? Let us know in the comments below.
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