BMW was one of the first companies to offer an affordable-ish electric car you might actually lust after, and it’s fair to say that the i3 still looks box-fresh to this day. But the EV has been on sale a while and is starting to lag behind the competition in terms of range and performance.
While the i3 can officially manage fewer than 200 miles of range on a charge, BMW’s next EVs will have almost double that amount. The now-confirmed BMW i4 will reportedly manage 373 miles between full charges, which is handily more than the Tesla Model 3 and about the same as the longest-range model of the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
It’ll use an 80kWh battery pack that’s said to weigh 550kg. Performance is pretty similar to a BMW V8, and 523bhp certainly sounds good to us. From a standstill, you’ll be at 62mph in around four seconds, and the top speed is ‘more than 200km/h’ (124mph).
The drivetrain will also be used in two of the company’s upcoming SUVs, the iX3 and the iNEXT.
You won’t yet find many fast-chargers that can dish out 150kW of power, but the i4 can handle charging at this rate if you track one down. Plug into one, and the battery can be replenished to 80 per cent in just over half an hour. An extra 60 miles or so can be added in just six minutes. BMW is also looking at ways to make batteries from materials that aren’t rare and hard to obtain.
BMW is clearly spending a lot of time, effort and money getting the i4 right. It’s not due in showrooms for another two years, but it’s been subjected to an extensive testing regime for the last few months – partly in the Arctic Circle, like in these camouflaged shots. These are still the closest we’ve got to seeing the car’s design, besides a concept car shown here.
If BMW’s recent concepts are anything to go by, it’ll probably have huge kidney grilles. They’ll probably be fared-in with blue accents, highlighting its electric power.
We’re set to see plenty of hybrid and electric BMWs and MINIs in the next few years; by 2023, there’ll be 25 electrified models to choose from.
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