Johannesburg - BMW South Africa is hoping to take its electric car game closer to the mainstream with the local launch of the iX3 and i4.
The iX3, which is effectively a battery-powered X3, is priced from R1 290 000, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe-based i4 is yours for R1 600 000. Although they don’t exactly make EVs accessible to the masses, the former is still among the more affordable electric offerings in the country, and costs about the same as an X3 xDrive30d.
A closer look at the BMW iX3
The BMW iX3 is powered by an electric motor that pushes 210kW and 400Nm through the back wheels, for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.8 seconds.
The motor is fed by an 80 kWh high-voltage battery that allows a claimed range of up to 460km between charges. It can also be fast-charged with DC current at a rate of up to 150kW, which would theoretically allow 100km of range to be added in 10 minutes.
The iX3 comes with the M Sport exterior package as standard, which includes 20-inch alloys and adaptive LED headlights. The cabin features BMW’s dual-screen digital instrument and infotainment system, as well as sports front seats in new Vernasca leather upholstery.
Buyers can choose between two equipment lines: Inspiring and Impressive. The former ships standard with a panoramic glass roof, automatic tailgate, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, three-zone climate control, electrically-adjustable seats and adaptive suspension. The ‘Impressive’ model gains acoustic glazing, Head-Up Display and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.
Now for a look at the BMW i4 M50
Boasting a centre of gravity that’s up to 53mm lower than that of a 3 Series, the BMW i4 is an electric sports sedan through and through.
Available only in high-performance M50 guise, the i4 is powered by a dual-motor system that, in overboost mode, pushes up to 400kW and 795Nm to all four wheels, allowing for a 3.9-second 0-100km/h sprint.
The i4’s 83.9 kWh battery allows for a claimed range of up to 510km on the WLTP cycle, and DC fast charging is possible at up to 200kW, allowing 140km of range to be added within 10 percent from a 10 percent charge level.
The cabin features BMW’s new-generation iDrive interface that’s powered by the new BMW Operating System 8. The BMW Curved Display, featuring a 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch infotainment system, is angled towards the driver, and also incorporates an extensively upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
A total of 40 driver assistance gizmos are fitted as standard, including Active Cruise Control with Speed Limit Assist, as well as route monitoring and the Steering and Lane Control Assistant.
The BMW i4 M50 is fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, M Aerodynamics package and Adaptive M suspension with a model-specific set-up that promises an ‘M-typical’ driving experience.