Following the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, BMW revealed its pure-electric Concept i4 virtually…
With the Geneva Motor Show cancelled following the current global health crisis, BMW took to the virtual world to reveal its Concept i4 – its pure-electric Gran Coupe. The BMW Concept i4 represents a look ahead to the forthcoming BMW i4, slated to enter production in 2021, it will be BMW’s first all-electric model in what the industry calls the ‘premium midsize’ sector.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission.”
The drivetrain’s standout numbers include a range of 373-miles, a power output of up to 530hp, 0-62 mph acceleration in approximately 4.0-seconds flat and a top speed in excess of 124mph. The sound of the Concept i4 comes from composer Hans Zimmer, it’s said to audibly combine BMW’s past and future.
“The design of the BMW Concept i4 shows fantastic proportions, a powerfully expressive character and, of course, a lot of attention to detail,” added Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design. “With the Curved Display, we have redefined BMW’s signature driver focus in an extremely elegant way. At the same time, the BMW Concept i4 transports a feeling of sustainable driving pleasure.”
The Concept i4 includes several design elements which will make an appearance in other electrically-powered BMW production vehicles in future.
Aerodynamic elements maximise the car’s electric range – a blanked-off kidney grille and aero lips are examples – with no Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), open vents at the front of the car are no longer essential. The wheels have been designed exclusively for the Concept i4, they blend aerodynamic and lightweight design elements; smooth, aerodynamic, surfaces have been combined with ultra-lightweight, high-strength spokes. Perhaps most important is BMW’s assertion that this car presents its new family look, part and parcel of that is the introduction of BMW’s new logo, the two-dimensional and transparent design proving somewhat controversial. References to BMW’s i Vision Dynamics styling language is not hard to miss.
Inside the cabin is highly driver centric. A new curved display – displays merge into a single unit inclined towards the driver – is joined by the steering wheel in providing strong clues to production versions of the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. The central control panel replaces a traditional gear lever with a toggle-type shifter. Elements such as the iDrive Controller and seat memory buttons in the doors are finished in a crystal glass. The look and feel of the controls are influenced by the latest electronic devices, in the display itself three Experience Modes (Core, Sport and Efficient) enable users to explore various facets of the system – this will form the basis of BMW’s next operating system expected to enter series production in 2021. Each of the three settings employs slightly different visuals and can be personalised.
The fifth-generation of BMW’s eDrive technology is said to be a defining feature of the BMW i4 and therefore also of future electric mobility. The BMW iX3, which is due to go into production this year, will lead the way in the application of the new technology. The electric motor developed for the i4 generates a maximum output of up to 390 kW (530hp), which ranks it alongside a current BMW V8 combustion engine. Its instantaneous power delivery gives the i4 standout performance and levels of efficiency. Series production of the new i4 will begin in 2021 at BMW’s main plant in Munich. Approximately 90 percent of BMW’s existing production equipment can be adapted into the production process.
A key new piece of equipment will be fitted in the assembly halls for installation of the high-voltage battery, which needs to be fitted in the car from below. The company is investing a total of around 200 million Euros in Plant Munich to bring series production of the BMW i4 to fruition.