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Range-topping BMW i4 makes 544hp

7th Jun 2021 9:00 am

The Tesla Model 3 rivalling BMW EV gets two powertrain choices – the 340hp eDrive40 and the 544hp M50 xDrive.

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The BMW i4 was revealed in production form earlier this year, and now the German marque has detailed its technical specifications, promising up to 544hp from an M-badged version and a maximum range of 590km from an entry-level variant.

  • BMW i4 revealed in 340hp eDrive40 and 544hp M50 versions
  • Gets an 80.7kWh (net capacity) battery pack
  • Range is pegged at 510-590km, depending on the variant

BMW i4 powertrain

The all-electric BMW i4 will be available initially in rear-driven 340hp eDrive40 and 544hp M50 xDrive forms.

The M50 employs a 258hp motor on the front axle and a 313hp motor on the rear axle. Combined torque is put at 795Nm, compared with 430Nm for the eDrive40.

The M50 also gets a unique Sport Boost function that can be used to liberate the full power output for around 10 seconds when driven in Sport mode. With this activated, the M50 can do 0-100kph in 3.9sec. The eDrive40 can complete the same sprint in 5.7sec.

BMW i4 range

The i4 stores its reserves in a floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack which has a gross (total) energy capacity of 83.9kWh and a net (usable) capacity of 80.7kWh. The battery is claimed to be 30 percent more power-dense than that used by today’s i3 hatchback.

It can charge at rates of up to 200kW, adding 164km of range in the eDrive40 and 140km worth of electrical energy in the M50, in just 10 minutes. What’s more, adjustable regenerative braking can top up the battery at rates of up to 195kW in the M50 and 116kW in the eDrive40.

The RWD variant boasts a WLTP range of 590km on a single charge, with the more powerful AWD version delivering a 510km range. 

BMW i4 chassis

Based on a specially adapted version of the 3 Series’ CLAR architecture, the i4 is aimed at the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3, but in top-spec M50 form, it is touted to offer performance that rivals the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-tron GT.

At 4,783mm long, 1,852mm wide and 1,448mm tall, the i4 has similar dimensions to the 3 Series, which development boss Frank Weber highlights as crucial to its appeal.

 

He explained, “There will be 3 Series customers, but the i4 is also attractive because of its loading abilities and the space inside, which will also attract potential 5 Series customers – people who are looking for a sporty sedan. We’ve chosen for a good reason the exact space of the i4.”

Both i4 models are equipped with lift-related suspension dampers and rear air springs, while the M50’s performance-oriented chassis gains adaptive dampers, anti-roll bars and variable-ratio sport steering.

To further differentiate the M50 from the eDrive40, it gains performance-inspired design cues similar to BMW’s ICE sports cars. Extra intakes and contrasting trim at the front, together with the subtle rear spoiler, promote a more aggressive stance, while the mirrors, rear apron, sills and rear bumper are gloss black.

BMW i4 cabin

Inside, the i4 aims to offer “a richly involving driving experience”. There’s a free-standing 12.3-inch infotainment screen running BMW’s eighth-generation iDrive system, plus a 14.9-inch curved digital dial display, standard sports seats and blue accents throughout as nods to the car’s electric underpinnings. Three-zone automatic climate control is standard and ventilated seats are an option for both rows.

BMW i4 India plans

The BMW i4 will be available in international markets by the end of the year. The automaker, however, has made no official announcement about bringing the all-electric sedan to India anytime soon.

BMW currently has no all-electric offering in its India portfolio, though the company does sell a plug-in hybrid variant of the 7 Series in the form of the 745Le xDrive.

The carmaker has launched the 3 Series Gran Limousine, the spiced up M340i, a petrol version for the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the facelifted 6 Series GT in our market this year. Subject to how the COVID crisis pans out, BMW India is expected to debut the 5 Series facelift, updates for the X3 and X4, as well as the M3 and M4 in the coming months.  

Also see:

BMW to introduce 9 new EVs by 2025

Copyright (c) Autocar UK. All rights reserved.


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