In Depth

BMW i4 2021: official images, battery range, prices and release

German carmaker confirms schedule and performance details of its Tesla Model 3 electric rival

BMW has confirmed that its upcoming i4 electric saloon will go on sale in 2021, when it will go up against the popular Tesla Model 3.  

Previewed as the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the i4 will be the company’s fourth product in its electric sub brand, joining the futuristic i3 city car, i8 sports coupe and the drop-top i8 Roadster

The German carmaker claims that its next EV will set “new standards in sporty performance” and boast a battery range that should give even the most frugal electric cars a run for their money. 

While the company has yet to reveal a production-spec version of the i4, it has released images of its camouflage-wrapped development vehicles [top] undergoing winter testing in Sweden. 

BMW hopes that the harsh, wintry conditions will help determine the durability of the i4’s batteries, electric motors and suspension systems, Autocar reports. 

Fans will have to wait a little longer for the i4 to make its debut in production form. In the meantime, here’s what we know so far: 

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Price and release 

There’s no official word on pricing just yet. But as the i4 will sit alongside the £32,600 3 Series saloon and rival the £38,500 Tesla Model 3, expect the i4 to carry a price tag of around £40,000. 

What the company has confirmed, though, is that the i4 will hit the showrooms in 2021. Therefore, expect the car to make its debut in production form either at the end of next year or in early 2021. 

Design

The i4 will adopt a more “conventional” look than BMW’s recent electric vehicle concepts and its i-badged EVs, according to Auto Express

Models such as the i3 and i8 are “very distinct from anything else in the firm’s line-up,” courtesy of their “unique construction and unusual styling features”, the motoring magazine says. But the i4 is set to share the same understated profile as the upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Judging by the official “spy shots” posted by BMW, the i4 will ditch the radical grille of the 4 Series and i Vision Dynamics concept in favour of the more traditional kidney-style vents from the 3 and 2 Series.

Despite there being no combustion engine in front of the cabin, the i4 still comes with a long bonnet. That may be due to the car being built on BMW’s new CLAR platform, which will underpin both electric and combustion-engined models.

Battery range and performance

The i4 will be equipped with an 80kWh battery pack, delivering a range of up to 372 miles on a single charge, according to PistonHeads. The system comes with the latest charging technology, too, allowing drivers to top up the battery to 80% capacity in 35 minutes. 

The battery system is mated to an unspecified number of electric motors that produce a total output of 523bhp, the website adds. From a standstill, the i4 will be capable of sprinting to 62mph in just four seconds – making it roughly 0.4 seconds faster than the Long Range variant of the Model 3.

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