Update: ‘Interior’ section updated with the sub-section ‘First-ever software update for the iDrive 8.’
Intending to achieve a 50% share of sales with EVs by 2030, the BMW i4, together with the BMW iX, is the latest step from the Munich-based car marque to get the attention of electric car buyers. Customer deliveries of the BMW i4 will begin in the UK in a few weeks, coming in Sport and M Sport trims.
The i4 is based on a modified version of the CLAR platform, which underpins the BMW 3 and 4 Series, and can accommodate battery packs of up to 80 kWh. In June 2021, BMWBlog attended the world premiere of the i4, and following is their first look at the electric car.
At first glance, the 2022 BMW i4 is quite similar to the new BMW 4 Series family. What immediately stands out is the XL-size two-piece kidney grille. That said, to ensure one doesn’t mistake this four-door coupe for an ICE model, BMW stylists have added a plethora of blue details similar to those on the iX3 and the iX. The air intakes, side sill trim strips and rear bumper trim are painted in high gloss black. The rear-end, like the front, features some blue trim along with a rear diffuser. The i4 measures 4,783 mm in length, 1,852 mm in width, and 1,448 mm in height.
There is a free choice between 18-inch M aerodynamic wheels or 19-inch M light double-spoke alloy wheels for customers in the UK.
The highlight of the i4’s cabin has to be the huge infotainment screen. This widescreen display is found on the iX, but it’s far more sophisticated than the usual affair you find on a 3- or a 4-Series. It comprises a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument console and a 14.9-inch central touchscreen unit which is a curved driver-focused BMW display that merges into a single unit enhancing the appearance of the cabin. It is hidden behind the passengers’ view quite neatly offering a free-standing look and has anti-reflective glass for better visibility even in bright sunlight.
It runs on the latest iDrive 8 OS and offers ‘Hey BMW’ voice activation features along with customizable menu options. There are no physical buttons for climate control, which means one will need to use the on-screen buttons or the voice controls to adjust the aircon. Also on offer are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring options. The Operating System gets over-the-air software updates using the built-in SIM card or via the My BMW App. Remote software upgrades are easy to install and free of charge.
First-ever software update for the iDrive 8
The i4 is the first BMW to get a software update for the brand’s newest iDrive 8 OS, according to a statement released by the brand on February 7, 2022. The update adds a new Personal eSim which brings more smartphone-like features to the vehicle’s infotainment. The update uses the vehicle’s antenna to strengthen the smartphone’s signal. As of now, the update is only rolled out in Germany, Japan and the US.
The update has also optimised the Lane Departure Warning — the vehicle can detect if you want to return to your original lane after passing other vehicles. While returning to the original lane, the system will not trigger the Lane Departure Warning again. The update has also smoothened steering interventions. For instance, when the vehicle moves away from the lane, the steering assist triggered by the system are more gentle.
Price & Specifications
The BMW i4 eDrive 40 comes in two trim levels – Sport and M Sport. The former comes with a reversing camera, automatic air conditioning, interior ambient lighting, and the Live Cockpit Plus system with an audio system with a DAB+ tuner and 6 speakers. For people looking for a more premium sound experience, there is the option of 16-speaker 464 Watts Harman Kardon sound system with a digital seven-channel amplifier. The higher trim adds an M50-inspired body kit and suede-like Alcantara upholstery to the equation.
Coming to the powertrain variants, the BMW i4 is available in eDrive 40 and M50 specifications. The former is propelled by a single electric motor that drives the rear wheels. It has a peak output of 340 hp and 430 Nm and a driving range of 366 miles (WLTP). Moreover, this variant can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds. The range drops to 352 miles in the eDrive 40 M Sport variant.
The hotter i4 M50 variant is the first full-electric performance-focused model from the BMW M division. The i4 M50 features a dual-electric motor set up – one for each axle. These motors have a combined output of 544 hp and 795 Nm (in Sport Boost mode), enabling this EV to sprint from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds. The i4 M50 offers a driving range of 319 miles (WLTP) on a full charge.
|Aspect\Preliminary Specification||BMW i4 eDrive40||BMW i4 M50|
|Length/Width/Height||4,783 mm/1,852 mm/1,448 mm||4,783 mm/1,852 mm/1,448 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,856 mm||2,856 mm|
|Ground Clearance||125 mm||125 mm|
|Luggage Capacity||470-1,290 litres||470-1,290 litres|
|Motor Power||340 hp||544 hp|
|Motor Torque||430 Nm (317 Lb.-Ft.)||795 Nm (586 Lb.-Ft.)|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Acceleration||5.7 seconds||3.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||190 km/h (118 mph)||225 km/h (140 mph)|
|Battery Pack Energy Content||80.7 kWh (net)/83.9 kWh (gross)||80.7 kWh (net)/83.9 kWh (gross)|
|Range (WLTP)||366 miles||319 miles|
|Max. Charging Power (AC)||11.0 kW||11.0 kW|
|Max. Charging Power (DC)||200 kW||200 kW|
|AC Fast-Charging Time (0-100% SoC)||<8.5 hours||<8.5 hours|
|DC Fast-Charging Time (10-80% SoC)||31 minutes||31 minutes|
BMW i4 models in the UK come with a Flexible Charger (11 kW) and a mode 3 charging cable for public charging stations. Retail customers purchasing the i4 via the BMW UK Retail Network will receive a BMW Charging card that gives access to special tariffs offered by the BMW Charging network. In addition, ‘bp pulse’ and ‘IONITY Plus’ packages would be extended to i4 customers without a subscription fee for the first year of ownership.
|Model||WLTP Range||OTR Price|
|i4 eDrive40||366 miles – Sport|
352 miles – M Sport
|£51,905 – Sport |
£53,405 – M Sport
|i4 M50||319 miles||£63,905|
The chassis of the i4 has been refined for better handling and comfortable ride quality. This is achieved by a reduction in centre of gravity by 34 mm (i4 M50) and 53 mm (i4 eDrive40 Sport and M Sport) compared to a 3 Series Saloon. All model variants come equipped with Air Suspension as standard with self-levelling and an innovative damper technology.
Hans Zimmer lends voice to the BMW i4
BMW announced on 11 May 2021 that it had roped in legendary music director Hans Zimmer to create “emotionally engaging driving sound” for electrified BMW M models. In their press note, BMW says that depending on the drive mode (Comfort or Sport), the sound experience deepens and aims to add a thrill to the driving experience. Only when the driver selects the ECO PRO mode does the artificially synthesized sound completely reduce. The i4 comes with acoustic pedestrian protection as standard to alert the road users using this synthesised sound.
The artificial sound created by Hans Zimmer will be branded as ‘IconicSounds Electric’ and will be an option on the BMW i4 over the course of 2022; it will be standard on the BMW iX, though. It can be installed through a remote software update, BMW said.
BMW Group started manufacturing the BMW i4 at the Munich plant on 22 October 2021. BMW Group Plant Munich is one of the main production sites of the company worldwide, and this facility will roll out the first BMW Neue Klasse model in 2025. Vehicle production and manufacturing of battery cells is achieved using 100% green energy in this plant, along with the use of secondary raw materials, natural materials and recycled materials. By 2023, more than 50% of all models the company makes here will be electrified, and the majority of the xEV models will be fully electric vehicles.
Customers in France, Germany & Norway take deliveries of the BMW i4
Deliveries of the i4 first began in Germany in November 2021. According to the discussions on the i4talk forum, some Europeans have gotten their cars delivered with photographs showing a delivery party for customers in markets like France, Norway and Germany. However, following the discussion on the forum closely, many who have booked the vehicle are receiving delayed delivery dates. Carmakers continue to reel under the effects of the global semiconductor supply shortage and aren’t able to ramp up output.
By 2023, BMW will have 12 pure EVs on sale worldwide, with an electric option available in 90 per cent of its current portfolio. By the end of 2023, the BEV lineup will include the BMW i7, BMW i5, BMW iX1, and the BMW 3 Series electric (i3 sedan).
BMW i4 FAQs
What is the BMW i4 release date?
While the prices & specs for the BMW i4 were revealed in June, the EV will hit the British roads in a few weeks.
What are the rivals to the BMW i4?
The BMW i4 will go up primarily against the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2. The Mercedes EQE would be an indirect rival.
What is the OTR BMW i4 price in the UK?
£51,905 for the eDrive 40, £53,405 for the M Sport eDrive40 and £63,905 for the i4 M50.
Featured image: Youtube/BMWBlog