By Otsile Kadiege
BMW has lifted the veil off the all-new, all-electric i4 Gran Coupe. The i4 is the brands first-ever electric vehicle focused squarely on driving dynamics. The i4 will be available in two models, namely the i4 eDrive40 and the high-performance i4 M50.
The i4 Gran Coupe boasts the opinion-splitting kidney grille with blue surrounds. The latter houses a discreetly integrated camera, ultrasonic and radar sensors. Flanking the grille are slim headlights with BMW Laserlight as an optional extra. The rear-end boasts a large diffuser with blue accents.
With the Carbon exterior package the i4 M50 drops the blue trims for black accents, carbon fiber air-inlets, mirror caps, rear spoiler, model specific M light-alloy wheels and M badges.
Interior design and technology
Inside the frameless four-door coupe, BMW promises a luxurious premium ambience and variable-use interior space with acoustic glazing, pre-heating and pre-conditioning, Sport seats with optional seat heating and ventilation, and sports steering wheel as standard with steering wheel heating. One of the most noticeable features is the new curved display which has dual integrated screens for the digital cluster (12.3-inch) and the infotainment (14.9-inch). The i4 uses the latest iDrive 8 infotainment system with a powerful software, advanced graphics as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The automatic climate control has been integrated into the infotainment and can only be operated via the touch display. BMW promises a spaciousness and practical interior thanks to the large panoramic sunroof and a decent boot space of 470-litres (which can be increased to 1,290-litres) after folding the 60:40 split rear seats.
Power and performance
Powering the i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 is BMW’s 5th generation eDrive technology with highly integrated unit of electric motor, power electronics and transmission, and the latest battery cell technology. The i4 eDrive40 produces 250 kW and 430 Nm. Power is sent to the rear wheels and will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds, and has a limited top speed of 190 km/h. BMW claims the eDrive40 has a range of 590 km (WLTP) and a combined electric power consumption of 20 – 16 kWh/100km.
The high-performance i4 M50 produces a whooping 400 kW and 795 Nm. Power is sent to all four wheels allowing it reach 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. It has a limited top speed of 225 km/h and 510 km range. Both models take a mere 31 minutes to charge from 10 – 80% at a 210 kW DC fast-charging station.
Newly designed chassis technology attuned precisely to the vehicle concept uses a double-joint spring strut front axle and five-link rear axle. As standard, the i4 is fitted with lift-related dampers and rear-axle air suspension. Near-actuator wheel slip limitation (also teamed for the first time with electric all-wheel drive) delivers outstanding traction and directional stability in extremely dynamic driving manoeuvres. BMW i4 M50 also features model-specific adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering and M Sport braking system. The i4 sits 53mm lower than the BMW 3 Series sedan.
Driver assistance features
The i4 has around 40 driver assistance functions available. As standard, the i4 is features Front-Collision Warning, Speed Limit Info and Lane Departure Warning. Optional driver assistance functions include Active Cruise Control with automatic Speed Limit Assist, route monitoring function and (in Germany) reaction to traffic lights, Driving Assistant Professional including Steering and Lane Control Assistant to name a few.
Market launch will get underway in November 2021 and the cars are expected din South Africa in Q1 of 2022.
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