Using the fifth-generation BMW eDrive system, the new BMW i4 will be the firm’s first all-electric four-door Gran Coupé – it will arrive in 2021…
BMW has revealed further official images of its first all-electric model in the four-door Gran Coupé segment. Sitting alongside BMW’s other offerings in the segment, such as the 4 Series Coupé, Convertible and Gran Coupé, the new i4 is due in 2021 and will employ the fifth-generation BMW eDrive system. The system is set to make its maiden appearance in the BMW iX3 in 2020, and the BMW iNEXT due in 2021. Advanced battery cell technology promises focused performance in combination with a range of approximately 380-miles in the BMW i4. The all-electric i4 will be produced from 2021 onwards, manufactured at BMW’s main plant in Munich.
The model’s development is part of a comprehensive product offensive by the BMW Group in the field of electrified vehicles. Currently the manufacturer has the biggest range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid models around, by 2023 the BMW Group claims it will be offering a staggering 25 models with electrified drive systems.
So, what exactly is the fifth-generation eDrive technology all about? We’re told that In the forthcoming i4 it will set new standards in terms of power density, efficiency and range – the electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and high-voltage battery are all newly developed. The electric motor in the i4 will deliver a maximum output of around 390 kW/530 hp, the level of a current BMW combustion V8 engine. Its spontaneous power delivery gives the i4 outstanding performance. The fifth generation eDrive includes a newly designed high-voltage battery featuring the latest battery cell technology. With a weight of some 550 kilograms, it has an energy content of around 80 kWh, providing the i4 with its aforementioned impressive range.
The i4 will accelerate from zero to 62mph in around 4.0 seconds, going onto a top speed of more than 124mph. BMW says that the high-voltage battery in the i4 allows it to be charged to around 80 percent of capacity in approximately 35 minutes. This results in a charging time of around six minutes for a range of 62 kilometres.
The BMW Group is rapidly expanding its range of e-mobility products. As you’ve just read by 2023 the company will have 25 electrified models on the roads – more than half of those will be all-electric. The key to rolling this out so quickly and successfully is flexible vehicle architectures and an equally agile production system, one that enables a model to be manufactured in three distinct guises, as an all-electric, a plug-in hybrid or a combustion engine model to meet demand in each relevant market segment. You also might say that with this approach BMW is hedging its bets were the electric revolution not to take off quite as quickly as hoped by the automotive industry…
That said, by 2021 demand for electrified vehicles is likely to double compared to what we have seen in 2019. The BMW Group expects to see a steep growth curve up to 2025, with sales of electrified vehicles growing on average by more than 30 percent annually. BMW very much sees itself as a pioneer in e-mobility, the Group is already a leading supplier of electrified vehicles, by the end of 2021 it aims to have more than a million all-electric or plug-in hybrids on the roads worldwide. By that point in time BMW Group aims to offer five all-electric series-built vehicles. Alongside the BMW i3 – demand for which increased by 20 percent in 2019 – production of the all-electric MINI has begun at the Oxford plant. In 2020, production of the all-electric BMW iX3 will begin at the Shenyang plant in China, in 2021 the BMW iNEXT – which will be manufactured at the Dingolfing plant in Germany – will follow. As you’ve just read, the i4 is due to go into series production at the Munich plant at the same time.