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BMW i4 2022 detailed: 400kW all-electric four-door set to launch this year

John Law

BMW has detailed the all-new electric i4 Gran Coupe which is poised to take on the Tesla Model 3 with up to 590km of range and 400kW of power.

Details of the 2022 BMW i4 have been revealed and it will be the first-ever high-performance EV from the Bavarian marque. The i4 will launch globally in November this year, and arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2022.

The range-topping vehicle even gets an M badge, though the M50 is more M440i than M4. BMW has aimed the G26 i4 M50 directly at the Tesla Model 3 Performance.

BMW i4 2022-7
The BMW i4 will launch in November with a high-performance M50 variant with 400kW of power.

BMW’s four-door Gran Coupe is based on an all-new architecture for the brand designed from the outset with electrification in mind. The slim lithium-ion battery sits under the floor and is only 110mm tall, which means the centre of gravity is 53mm lower than a 3 Series sedan.

The i4 is dimensionally similar to a G20 3 Series. The i4 measures 4,783mm, making it 74mm longer and 25mm wider (1,852mm) than a 3 Series. The wheelbase is also longer by 5mm, measuring 2,856mm in the i4.

However the i4 is heavier than a 3 or even 5 Series, weighing in at 2,050kg in its lightest form.

BMW i4 2022-2
The electric i4 is bigger than the 3 Series in every dimension.

In M performance guise, the i4 boasts 400kW of power and 795Nm of torque sent from a pair of electric motors to all four wheels. That should see a 0-100km/h sprint of 3.9 seconds before going onto a limited top speed of 225km/h.

The M50 also benefits from M Sport specific suspension, steering tune, uprated brakes and larger 20-inch alloy wheels. 

All i4 models will use the same 83.9kWh (80.7kWh usable) lithium-ion battery pack. In M50 guise, the WLTP claimed range is 510km, however with a single motor in eDrive 40 spec that climbs to 590km. DC fast-charging is capped at 200kW, meaning around 140km of range can be added in 10 minutes.

BMW i4 2022-5
DC fast-charging can be done at up to 200kW and the i4 boasts over 500km range.

The i4 eDrive 40 does without the front electric motor and develops 250kW of power and 430Nm of torque. That puts more in line with a 430i; BMW claims 0-100km/h in a respectable 5.7 seconds. The lower-spec eDrive 40’s rear-drive dynamics should strike a chord with BMW fans, too.

Rear air suspension will be standard fitment, and the i4 will adopt a similar set-up as seen on the 3 Series sedan with a five-link rear axle and Macpherson struts up front. 

Outside, the i4 is reminiscent of the G22 4 Series coupe with that controversial grille now closed off from the wind to house the radar and other sensors needed for the active safety systems.

BMW i4 2022-3
The new-style grille is blocked off and houses the active safety sensors.

This, combined with the sleek roofline, makes for a reasonably efficient car. BMW claims a drag coefficient of 0.24 for the i4.

The i4’s cabin is a more conventional piece of design than the iX SUV it launched alongside. The styling cues and hardpoints are lifted from the rest of the BMW range with a central console that houses the gear selector and iDrive rotary controller that won’t alienate current BMW drivers.

The central touchscreen has swollen to 14.9-inches in size, and a new tablet style 12.3-inch digital driver’s display. BMW has further developed the personal assistant voice activation feature and the i4 includes 5G connectivity for updates and live traffic.

BMW i4 2022-5
Inside the i4 is quite conventional, though does boast a larger touchscreen.

The materials used in the i4’s cabin are either recycled or sustainably sourced to meet emissions targets mandated in the EU. The i4 should also be suitably practical with its five seats and 470L of boot space under the rear hatch. 

The BMW i4 will launch globally in November 2021 and will make its way to Australia shortly after alongside the BMW iX SUV.

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