BMW was slated to reveal one of the most interesting electric cars of 2020 at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show before it was cancelled. That said the reveal still went ahead as planned except it was over the internet and not at a shiny revolving booth in Switzerland.
The Concept i4 is one of the most important electric cars to be shown at the show. It gives us a glimpse of the production version that’s slated for 2021. The company says that it blends sporty design and four door practicality, which is how most of us would describe a 4-Series but in this case, the difference being zero local emissions.
Looking at the exterior, there’s one thing that one would immediately notice which is the iconic kidney grille’s or rather lack thereof. What you see here is what’s being billed by the company as an “intelligence panel” which houses various sensors, the company said. This writer isn’t particularly fond of the decision to make the grille look like rabbit teeth, but then again style is subjective. Some say.
Moving on. The Concept i4 sports a couple of other things on its exterior worth noting. The first is the color, which the Bavarians are calling Frozen Light Copper which we think looks brilliant on this rendered concept Gran Coupe. The second is the brand’s new logo, which is now of a two-dimensional and transparent persuasion. Unlike Volkswagen’s ‘new’ logo which looks almost unchanged, BMW’s is instantly distinguishable as different. What do you think of the new logo?
On to the interior, and right off the bat, the brand is describing the interior as “innovation meets minimalism”. The Concept i4 isn’t cluttered with a variety of buttons and switches but rather the dashboard supports a single curved HD display housing the instrument cluster and infotainment system. The central control panel replaces a traditional gear lever with a toggle-type shifter. Further, the iDrive Controller and seat memory buttons in the doors are finished in crystal glass. The seats are upholstered with a blend of microfiber fabric and natural tanned leather.
Given that the BMW Concept i4 is aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3, the Gran Coupe is powered by a in-house developed-and-produced electric motor that generates up to 390kW, which they say, ranks alongside a current BMW V8 motor. Feeding the beefy electric motor is a 550kg fifth-generation eDrive battery pack with 80kWh of juice. BMW says it has a range of 600km when measured with the WLTP cycle.
As most of you know, an electric car does not really produce much noise, which for some detracts from the drama of driving. To get over this, BMW developed the car’s sounds under the brand name of BMW IconicSounds Electric by roping in world renowned composer Hans Zimmer and BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale. Together they aim to emotionalise BMW’s EVs.
Series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 and will be produced at the Group’s main plant in Munich. The company is investing some 200 million Euros in retooling the factory in order to produce the new electric car and future models.