BMW’s first foray into the all-electric car space was the quirky-looking i3 subcompact, which arrived in 2015 with just 81 miles of range that was increased to 153 miles before it was discontinued last year amid weak sales. Next time, things will be very different.
Following the launch this year of a battery-powered version of the X3 SUV, BMW will debut a purpose-built all-electric sedan called the i4 that’s designed to compete with the Tesla Model S.
The Concept i4 previews the production car’s styling and tech, which includes a 530 hp motor powering the rear wheels and a curved, widescreen, touch-sensitive display.
The exterior design features the brand’s signature twin-kidney “grille,” which is closed off since there’s no internal combustion engine to cool and instead houses sensors for the car’s electronic driver aid systems.
BMW says the i4 will be able to go over 270 miles between charges and accelerate to 60 mph in four seconds accompanied by a digital soundtrack developed by composer Hans Zimmer, who often collaborates with Chris Nolan and won an Oscar for his work on “The Lion King.”
The current $79,990 Long Range Plus version of the Model S can hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and cover 390 miles per charge, but uses a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack while the i4 will come with an 80 kWh pack to start. Tesla previously offered a Standard Range Model S with a 75 kWh pack that had an EPA rated range of 285 miles.