BMW foretells Tesla rival with Concept i4

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Mar 3, 2020

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Munich, Germany - Tone it down to ‘showroom condition’ and what you essentially have here is BMW’s answer to the Tesla Model 3.

The BMW Concept i4 was revealed via the internet on Tuesday in lieu of its Geneva debut that the coronavirus put paid to, and it previews a new production model that will hit the scene in 2021 as the company’s first all-electric offering in the midsize category.

BMW has invested heavily in electrification before with its high-tech and expensive-to-produce i3 and i8 family, but the i4 represents a step into the electrified mainstream as it is intended to sell in far bigger volumes, alongside the all-electric iX3 and the production version of the iNext concept.

The i4 will be related to the latest 3 Series and takes the kind of design form that you would have expected from the next-generation 4 Series Gran Coupe. It’s faux grille also takes inspiration from the giant kidney grille that we saw on last year’s 4 Series concept, which proved controversial among fans. 

However, a decent range and strong performance could go a long way in luring customers into BMW’s new electric car. According to the German carmaker, the Concept i4 has a driving range of 600km between charges, while its outputs of up to 390kW will get it from 0-100km/h in around four seconds.

Moving inside, the Concept i4 introduces a new wide-screen cockpit format that we will see in the production model and other products. Bunching the instrument cluster and infotainment screen into one unit, it resembles the format seen in modern Mercedes models, except BMW’s screen is slightly curved towards the driver. Almost all of the car’s operating functions are integrated into this huge touchscreen. 

The i4 cockpit also provides a glimpse at BMW’s next-generation operating system that’s due in 2021. It offers three different ‘Experience Modes’ - Core, Sport and Efficient - which affects everything from the user interface to the ambient lighting.

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