The world is going electric and BMW is nowhere behind. We've seen the iX before, even the Mini Cooper electric SE, and now here's the i4. The carmaker recently launched its new electric sedan in India. Globally, the BMW i4 is available in two variants — eDrive40 and M50 xDrive. We get the former at an introductory ex-showroom price of Rs 69.9 lakh. And though this is the electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the i4 is based on a specially-adapted version of the CLAR architecture. Let's take a closer look.
The BMW i4 borrows design elements from its 4 Series sibling. Upfront is a large grille and the car even sports bigger air dams. Then, there are typical BMW-styled dual-barrel LED headlamps with LED DRLs. The car is equipped with LED tail lamps as well. On the side, you'll notice the 17-inch alloy wheels are differently styled for better aerodynamics. The exterior colours for the i4 include three options, namely Mineral White, Black Sapphire, and this Skyscraper Grey. The thing I liked about the i4 is that it doesn't try hard to look different like many other electric cars. In fact, this one is identical to the standard ICE-powered version.
Inside this proper five-seater car, customers get to choose from different upholstery options. However, the main highlight here is the two screens. This dual-screen set-up includes a free-flowing curved 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital driver display. The latter comes embedded with the latest i-Drive 8 user interface. The car gets a Harman-Kardon surround sound music system, wireless charging, multi-zone climate control, ambient lighting, an electric sunroof, a three-spoke steering wheel, and sports seats for the driver and co-passenger. Lest we forget, it sports three driving modes — EcoPro, Comfort, and Sport.
Now, the biggest USP of this sedan is that it can deliver a driving range of 590km on a single charge! Yes, the i4 has an 83.9kWh battery pack that produces 335bhp and 430Nm of torque propelling it from 0-100kmph in 5.7 seconds. The sedan is capable of recharging at up to 116kW with regenerative braking itself! Then, there's fast charging option, helping it to get charged at up to 200kWh, thus enabling it to add around 164km to the range in just 10 minutes! Or up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
But then, there's also the question about charging infrastructure. Do we have enough touchpoints to do that? BMW has a plan for that. The brand plans to install fast chargers at its dealer outlets across 35 cities to boost EV adoption. Nonetheless, the charging options for the i4 include an 11kW wall-box charger and an 11kW Type 2 AC charger, apart from the 205kW CCS2 DC charger. With this, BMW promises to have the best network in India.
The most potential rivals of the i4 could have been the Audi e-tron GT and the Porsche Taycan. However, with the brilliant pricing of the i4, BMW India has hit it out of the park. The BMW i4 eDrive40 is offered only as a single variant and deliveries are expected to start by July. And I just can’t wait to drive it. We'll soon do an in-depth review detailing not just how it is to drive, but also test the car for its driving range. Stay tuned.