The biggest threat yet to Tesla’s monopoly over the premium EV market has arrived and it comes courtesy of the original proprietors of the performance executive saloon. This is the all-electric BMW i4.
Full details are yet to be revealed but what we have already is pretty juicy. These are the important numbers we have so far: 366 miles of WLTP-certified range, 530PS (390kW) and 0-62mph in just over four seconds. Sounds mighty impressive to us, especially that class-leading range figure. Then, of course, as if to rebut critics of so-called ‘legacy’ manufacturers, in addition to its own previous approach to EVs, BMW has elected to make the i4, well, little more than an electric 4 Series.
Yes, this is effectively *just* a 4 Series Gran Coupe (yet to be released), with an all-electric powertrain. It’s a very traditional BMW, grille and gizzards notwithstanding. Compare that to the space-age-looking i3 of eight (!) years ago, which still looks like a prop from a Sci-Fi movie today. So really, the i4 is an electric BMW aimed at fans of petrol BMWs.
“With its sporty looks, best in class driving dynamics and zero local emissions, the BMW i4 is a true BMW,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands, Sales. “It makes the heart of the BMW brand now beat fully electric.”
So what else will petrol BMW-buying folks want to know about this all-electric i4? We know the range is good, but how fast does it replenish that range? Yet to be revealed, as is what this car is going to cost, especially by comparison to a Tesla Model 3.
For what it’s worth, the new BMW iX xDrive40, starts from £69,000. The xDrive40 can replenish its battery at up to 150kW, while the xDrive50 goes at 200kW. An educated guess, then, is that the i4, like both variants of the iX, will charge from 10 to 80 per cent charge inside 40 minutes, at the maximum possible charge speed and cost between £60,000 and £80,000. Considering the other 500PS (368kW) offering in the 3 and 4 Series family will cost you upwards of £75,000, that doesn’t sound too bad. We await the reveal of official pricing and charge speeds...