The first fully-electric sedan from the Bavaria marque will be the first of many EVs to touch down in Australia next year to cater to a new generation of enthusiasts.
BMW has announced the fully-electric i4 sedan will go on sale early next year with prices starting from $99,900 before on-road costs.
The i4 will follow the arrival of the iX3 midsize SUV that is due later this year, and will launch roughly around the same time as the iX large SUV as BMW targets some of Australia’s most competitive segments with an electric twist.
Available in a choice of two grades, the i4 functions as an electrified version of the 3 Series or 4 Series Gran Coupe, with a similar size to the Tesla Model 3 sedan but at a price that is more comparable to the larger Tesla Model S.
BMW has fitted the i4 with a huge 83.9kWh (80.7kWh usable) battery pack that provides up to 590km (WLTP) of range in eDrive 40 form, while the performance oriented M50 returns slightly less at 510km (WLTP).
This is partly due to the fitment of the additional electric motor at the front of the i4 M50, which gives the sedan a blistering all wheel drive system developing a combined 400kW of power and 795Nm of torque, which is enough to give it a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds.
The more affordable i4 eDrive 40 produces notably less with 250kW and 430Nm sent to the rear wheels, but is by no means slow with a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds.
Once the power runs out, drivers can plug the i4 into a DC charging port and top of the battery with speeds of up to 200kW, meaning around 140km of range can be added in 10 minutes.
It should be noted that included with the purchase price of the car is a five-year Chargefox subscription, so buyers can top up their car at a wide network for chargers for free during that time.
As far as equipment levels are concerned the i4 packs a lot in as standard and as usual BMW offers a huge range of packages if you want to tack on additional options.
This includes BMW’s new curved display unit which pairs a huge 14.9-inch screen to work as the instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch display in the centre for multimedia purposes.
Other niceties include three-zone climate control with a purifying function which is good for dealing with unwanted city pollution. Some may lament the decision to move control of the aircon to the touchscreen rather than physical buttons but it does provide a cleaner appearance.
As standard, the interior has been trimmed in Vernasca leather with sports seats for the driver and front passenger along with electronic adjustability – though buyers can mix and match these options.
It builds on other features such as wireless charging, a heads-up display, ambient lighting, a 10-speaker sound system and a power tailgate to create a luxury experience.
As far as driving performance is concerned the entry-level i4 eDrive 40 comes with adaptive dampers and M Sport brakes wrapped in lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the i4 M50 adds, on top of the performance benefits, heated seats of the front with lumbar support, a panoramic roof and a 16-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system.
Visually differentiating the top-spec model from its junior grade are touches such as the rear spoiler and metallic paintwork and BMW’s powerful ‘Laserlight’ headlights if you look closely.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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