The first-ever BMW i4 set to launch with up to 367 mile range
Introducing the BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport and BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport. Due for launch in the UK in November 2021, the i4 is the first all-electric premium car from the BMW Group aimed at the traditional core of the midsize segment. Its combination of sportiness and long-distance ability has been achieved with an efficient drive system technology and intelligent lightweight design, which enable exhilarating driving dynamics and an impressive range without the need for disproportionately large and heavy batteries.
The newcomer offers both a captivating drive and class-leading levels of technology. In addition to being based on a flexible vehicle architecture conceived from the outset for a purely electric drive system, the new i4 features the latest generation of the iDrive system, plus cutting-edge innovations in the areas of automated driving and parking assistance.
Beneath its four-door gran coupé body style, it boasts fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology incorporating the latest power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery as well as the highly integrated electric motors that enable strong performance combined with everyday usability and long-distance capabilities.
The BMW iDrive / Operating System 8 is key to the user experience on board the BMW i4 and takes the interaction between driver and vehicle into the digital future. The new BMW Operating System 8 helps give the BMW i4 all the tools needed to serve as an intelligent and proactive partner in any situation. The intuitive, multimodal operation becomes a dialogue between the user and their car that seeks to tailor all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive precisely to the driver’s needs and preferences.
The BMW i4 will be available in three different model variants from launch, including the first ever BMW M car with all-electric drive. The BMW i4 M50 is a performance model from BMW M GmbH delivering extreme driving enjoyment, bringing the classic M formula of agility, dynamism and precision to the world of electric mobility.
Equipped with electric motors at both the front and rear axle with a combined maximum output of 544hp and M-specific chassis technology, it promises exceptional performance while achieving a range of up to 316 miles in the WLTP test cycle.
In the BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport and BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport, a 340hp electric motor teams up with rear-wheel drive to enable locally emission-free driving with plenty of sporting flair. It has a WLTP-calculated range of up to 367 miles.
The BMW i4 enhances its usability further still with flexible charging options. Notably, its Combined Charging Unit allows use of DC high-power charging stations with an output of up to 200kW. Range of up to 102 miles (BMW i4 eDrive40) and 87 miles (BMW i4 M50) can be delivered within a 10-minute charging stop at stations of this kind.
The i4 eDrive40 in both the Sport and M Sport specification includes 18-inch alloy wheels and the Live Cockpit, plus such standard equipment as a reversing camera, Parking Assistant, automatic air conditioning, ambient lighting, LED lights front and back and acoustic protection for pedestrians.
|Model||Max Power (hp)||Peak Torque (Nm)||Acceleration|
|Top Speed (mph)||Range (Miles) (WLTP) *||CO2|
(WLTP) kWh/62 miles*
|i4 M50||544||795||3.9||140**||316 *||0||24-19||£63,905|
*All figures relating to output, charging capacity, charging times, performance, energy consumption and range are provisional and based on the standard specification in Germany.
***Preliminary on-the-road pricing, correct at the time of publication – the latest prices can be found at www.bmw.co.uk.
The BMW i4 will be produced at BMW Group Plant Munich. Its production, which is performed alongside petrol, diesel and plug-in-hybrid models on the same line, marks the beginning of a new era for the manufacturing facility. The BMW Group invested around 200 million Euros in the company’s home plant to cover the necessary disassembly and conversion work for the production machinery. Both the BMW i4 and its battery cells will be manufactured using 100 per cent green energy.
In the UK, the BMW i4 range will cost from £51,905 OTR.
Precisely coordinated premium drive and chassis technology
The superb dynamic performance offered by the BMW i4 distinguishes it from other electric vehicles in its segment. The standard chassis technology’s extremely sophisticated features (some of which are exclusive to BMW) include the lift-related dampers, rear air suspension, electromechanical steering with Servotronic function, integrated braking system, DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and near-actuator wheel slip limitation. The BMW i4 M50 boasts a bespoke adaptive M suspension with individually configured springs and dampers, specially designed anti-roll bars and an additional spring strut tower brace in the front end, along with variable sport steering, M Sport brakes and M light-alloy wheels up to 20 inches in diameter with mixed-size tyres. Meanwhile, the fully electric all-wheel-drive system helps it achieve outstanding levels of traction, directional stability and agility.
An intensive testing programme ensures that the motor output, power transmission, chassis set-up and body attributes work together to deliver the familiar BMW driving pleasure. The result is highly impressive driveability in all scenarios: from hard acceleration through high-speed cornering to relaxed cruising. Even in adverse road conditions, the car can effortlessly pick up speed.
The BMW i4 shows itself to be a cut above the rest when it comes to driving comfort as well: its advanced chassis technology and steering characteristics, plus high levels of ride, vibration and acoustic comfort translate into easy, fatigue-free driving on long journeys.
Electric all-wheel drive, innovative damper technology and new near-actuator wheel slip limitation including Launch Control
The top-class powertrain and chassis systems interact with great precision to produce a driving experience that no competitor can offer, particularly from a standing start. The electric all-wheel-drive system in the BMW i4 M50 plays a particularly effective role here, with the presence of an electric motor at both the front and rear axle allowing drive power to be channelled to the road to optimum effect. The electric all-wheel drive reacts with extreme sensitivity to the speed of the wheels at each axle. If necessary, it can optimise traction and handling stability by adjusting the drive torque accordingly, without the traction control even having to intervene.
The fully variable system can choose exactly the right form of power transmission for the full range of requirements, from highly efficient pure rear-wheel drive through to an all-wheel-drive set-up that maximises traction. Normally, power is relayed solely to the rear wheels of the BMW i4 M50 to increase its efficiency and range. At higher levels of acceleration or in response to wheel slip, the motor acting on the front wheels assumes just the right share of the drive power to optimise driving dynamics and directional stability.
Near-actuator wheel slip limitation is fitted on both versions of the rear-wheel-drive BMW i4 eDrive40 and the all-wheel-drive BMW i4 M50, whose intelligent distribution of power between the front and rear wheels also keeps the vehicle glued to the road under rapid acceleration long before the traction limit is reached. The near-actuator wheel slip limitation is designed to bring the advantages of rear-wheel drive to the world of electric mobility in BMW i4 eDrive40 variants, whereas in the BMW i4 M50 it is set up for optimum, rear-biased distribution of drive torque between the two axles.
Weight-optimised bespoke chassis technology
Optimised for both weight and rigidity, the newly engineered chassis technology for the BMW i4 provides an outstanding basis for combining precisely controllable handling with impressive long-distance comfort.
The superb driving qualities of the BMW i4 are partly down to its balanced weight distribution and its low centre of gravity. The high-voltage battery is positioned low down in the vehicle floor, bringing about a drop in the centre of gravity that has a positive impact on the car’s agility. The centre of gravity is 34mm (BMW i4 M50) or 53mm (BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport and M Sport) lower than on a 3 Series Saloon.
Standard specification for all model variants also includes rear air suspension, whose automatic self-levelling feature keeps the car at a constant ride-height even when carrying a heavy load.
Precisely controllable driving dynamics right up to the limits of performance
While the motor management’s integrated near-actuator wheel slip limitation function mostly halts loss of traction while accelerating, the DSC system is responsible for optimising directional stability and steering capability in demanding situations by selectively applying the brakes at individual wheels. Its primary functions include the Anti-lock Braking System, traction control system and electronic stability control. The easily activated Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) mode allows a higher degree of wheel slip, helping the driver to explore the car’s performance limits. It is also easy to engage the DSC off mode for extremely sporty driving without any brake intervention to stabilise handling.
Integrated braking system optimises stopping power and pedal feel
The BMW i4 is the only model in its segment to be fitted with an integrated braking system that delivers outstanding stopping power and reliable pedal feel. Unwanted pedal feedback is eliminated when recuperation is being used to slow the car, with Brake Energy Regeneration at a maximum rate of 195 kW (BMW i4 M50). The integrated braking system enables the recuperation and brake pressure elements of the overall stopping force to be combined with great precision. Consequently, the driver enjoys superb pedal feel in all situations, as applying the same pressure to the pedal will always generate the same stopping power.
Adaptive recuperation of energy during a journey can be adjusted
Adaptive and individually regulated recuperation during overrun and braking allows the efficiency of the drive system in the BMW i4 to be further increased in a way that no other model in this segment can. Intelligently connected drive management means the intensity of the brake energy recuperation can be adapted to the road situation, as detected by data from the navigation system and the sensors used by the driver assistance systems.
Sustainability-enhancing advances: fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology
Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology – comprising the electric motors, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery – forms the basis for driving pleasure with zero tailpipe emissions in the BMW i4. Developed by the BMW Group, the standalone design principle for the electric motors, and their compact arrangement within a housing shared with the transmission and power electronics, are key factors in the drive system’s outstanding power delivery and efficiency. This highly integrated drive technology results in an improvement in power density over the electric drive system in the 2020 BMW i3 of around 30 per cent.
The high operating range of the BMW i4 can also be attributed to the gravimetric energy density of its high-voltage battery, which has been upped by 20 per cent in comparison to the BMW i3. At the same time, maximum charging capacity for the latest-generation batteries has now been increased to 210kW.
The drive units are – like the high-voltage batteries, power electronics and charging technology – the product of fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. The electrically excited motor’s specific ESM design principle enables typical BMW power delivery with locally emission-free mobility. The drive system’s high efficiency and cutting-edge NMC-811 battery cell technology give the car a long operating range and exceptional everyday usability. Extremely powerful charging technology with a maximum charging capacity of 200kW for high-power DC charging means that only short mid-journey stops are required to replenish the energy content of the high-voltage battery.
The electric motors developed in-house by the BMW Group have an efficiency factor of 93 per cent in their latest version. They not only better the figures achieved by current combustion engines (less than 40 per cent), but also rank among the leading electric drive units in their class.
The excellent range of the BMW i4 is underpinned by efficiency rather than ever larger batteries. Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology therefore resolves the dilemma that has confronted all electric vehicles in the past and helps to create a blend of sporting performance, energy efficiency and practical operating range that clearly sets the BMW i4 apart from its competitors.
The BMW i4 M50 – the first ever fully-electric BMW M model – is powered by a 190kW electric motor at the front axle and a 230kW version at the rear, which combine to produce 544hp. The flagship model’s electric all-wheel-drive system allows drive torque to be adjusted with incredible speed and precision, thereby maximising dynamic performance, traction and handling stability. The drive system technology in the BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport and M Sport promises sustainable driving pleasure in the way BMW is most famous for: the power generated instantaneously by its 340hp electric motor is channelled to the road via the rear wheels.
Enthralling performance with Sport Boost function in the BMW i4 M50
In the BMW i4 M50, the motor driving the rear wheels generates maximum output of 313hp, while the unit at the front axle produces 258hp. Intelligently controlled interaction between the two electric drive units ensures the car always makes effortless progress.
The fully variable system is matched exactly to the requirements at any given moment, offering everything from highly efficient pure rear-wheel drive through to an all-wheel-drive set-up that maximises traction.
A specially designed boost function that can be activated on demand brings the BMW M model’s high-performance character even more to the fore. The Sport Boost function increases the system’s combined drive power by 68hp to its maximum of 544hp for over ten seconds. At the same time, combined torque is upped by 65Nm to 795Nm. The burst of speed is accompanied by an M-specific soundtrack which was composed in collaboration with Hans Zimmer, to further intensify the performance experience inside the BMW i4 M50.
Activating the Sport Boost function enables the BMW i4 M50 to race from 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds. The Sport Boost effect can also be triggered several times in succession if the high-voltage battery has sufficient charge. The BMW i4 M50 has an electronically governed top speed of 140mph.
Customary BMW sportiness and efficiency in the BMW i4 eDrive40
A lively electric motor teams up with classical rear-wheel drive in both versions of the BMW i4 eDrive40. Its drive unit develops maximum output of 340hp between 8,000 and 17,000rpm, placing it on an equal footing with BMW’s most powerful current six-cylinder in-line diesel engine. The other key factor in the electric motor’s performance characteristics is its instantaneous peak torque of 430Nm.The BMW i4 eDrive40 sprints from 0 to 62mph in 5.7 seconds. Its top speed is electronically limited to 118mph.
Combined Charging Unit allows power to be taken on board at 200kW
New charging technology is also part of the fifth-generation BMW eDrive toolkit. The Combined Charging Unit (CCU) in the BMW i4 enables an extremely high level of flexibility when it comes to using charging stations of different types.
Hooking up the high-voltage battery to a conventional domestic power socket or a Wallbox allows it to be fed with AC power from both single-phase and three-phase mains connections, at a charging rate of up to 11kW. Using this method, the BMW i4 can recharge its battery from totally empty to 100 per cent in under 8.5 hours.
A significantly higher charging output – and the shorter charging times this enables – can be accessed by using a DC high-power charging station. The BMW i4 can charge its high-voltage battery there at up to 200kW. So when hooked up to high-power charging stations of the type mainly found on major transport routes, it can take enough energy on board in just ten minutes to increase range by 102 miles in the BMW i4 eDrive40 and 87 miles in the case of the BMW i4 M50.
BMW i4 models in the UK are supplied complete with the Flexible Charger offering a charging rate of up to 11kW and a mode 3 charging cable for public charging stations. Retail customers purchasing their i4 via the BMW UK Retail Network will receive a BMW Charging card that facilitates access to special tariffs offered by the BMW Charging network. This allows electrical power to be replenished at a very attractive price at both public and high-power charging stations. In addition, ‘bp pulse’ and ‘IONITY Plus’ packages are offered to i4 customers without a subscription fee for the first 12 months of ownership. With these additional benefits, BMW i4 customers in the UK gain access to one of the world’s largest public charging networks, using just one RFID card or App.
The new generation of the BMW iDrive / Operating System 8
The new BMW iDrive is an instrumental factor in the user experience on board the BMW i4. The most recent incarnation of the display and operating system takes the interaction between driver and vehicle into the digital future. The new BMW Operating System 8 features a new generation of displays, controls and software, plus extremely powerful connectivity and data processing. The intuitive, multimodal operation becomes a natural dialogue between the user and their car, precisely tailoring all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive to the driver’s needs and preferences.
The new BMW iDrive was designed with a clear focus on touch operation and on dialogue-based interaction using natural language. Consequently, new features available immediately include the expanded capabilities of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, which uses a new graphic to communicate with the vehicle’s occupants, and the BMW Curved Display – the all-new fully digital display grouping in the BMW i4 formed by the information display and control display.
Natural dialogue with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant
The new generation of BMW iDrive also sees the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant gaining additional skills. In communication between people, a lot of information is conveyed non-verbally. The Assistant’s new visualisation approach, which features spheres of light in different sizes and brightness levels, gives it more space and forms of expression. These visuals provides the vehicle occupants with a clearly visible focal point and recognisable states of activity. When the user speaks to the Assistant, it appears in a fluid animation and spreads out engagingly over the displays, without concealing relevant information. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant can distinguish who is talking to it and appears on the relevant screen area. A widget designed specially for the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant enables rapid access to other settings and suggestions.
Advances have also been made in the functionality of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. An expanded pool of underlying data and information has not only made the digital assistant more intelligent, it has also enabled it to act proactively and according to context. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant suggests functions the customer has not yet tried out. For example, if the driver regularly opens the window at a certain point, the Assistant recognises the pattern and proactively suggests setting the relevant GPS coordinates – e.g. the entrance to a car park – as an automatic opening point.
Expanding functions and updating via Remote Software Upgrade
The new BMW Operating System 8 further enhances the options for updating the in-car software and expanding its functions. New and improved functions can be imported quickly and easily over the air, either using the car’s built-in SIM card or via the My BMW App. Installation is subsequently launched by the customer and seldom takes longer than 20 minutes. Remote Software Upgrades are installed free of charge.
Personalisation using the BMW ID
When interacting with the new BMW iDrive, BMW i4 customers benefit from increasing personalisation of the user experience based on their BMW ID. This is used to securely store even more personalised settings and to transfer them between vehicles. A PIN code can be created or the BMW ID associated with a particular key to prevent other users of the vehicle from accessing personal data.
When signing in to a vehicle for the first time, simply scanning a QR code is all it takes to create a new BMW ID on a smartphone. If the user uses the My BMW App and is therefore already in possession of a BMW ID, this will be automatically imported into the car via the app, when the QR code is scanned.
The BMW ID can be created and activated effortlessly and securely in vehicles with BMW Operating System 8 or BMW Operating System 7. Once the BMW ID has been imported personal settings for seat and steering wheel position, exterior mirrors, navigation system, driver assistance functions, display layouts, shortcuts, favourites and infotainment system settings will be imported automatically.
Extensive range of circa 40 driver assistance functions
The BMW i4 is the new standard-bearer for driving pleasure in the world of fully electric mobility. Its vehicle concept, drivetrain and chassis technology have all been designed to deliver an involving experience behind the wheel. At the same time, it offers an extensive range of driver assistance systems that are among the best on the market. The automated driving and parking systems at work in the BMW i4 stand out with their wide-ranging functionality and high degree of availability. The availability of around 40 assistance functions offered for the i4 either as standard or optionally enhance safety and comfort when driving and parking – in adverse weather conditions and unclear road situations alike.
The primary mission of the chassis technology and now also automated driving technology in BMW Group models is to generate a positive and emotionally engaging experience for the customer. The focus is on the pleasure of driving, and here the assistance systems play a key role alongside the model-specific driving characteristics. The BMW i4 offers customers the best of both worlds: they can enjoy dynamic driving pleasure by taking the controls themselves or use the assistance functions to make certain driving situations and parking safer and less stressful.
Gran coupé style with the comfort and practicality of a four-door car
The first fully electric model developed for the BMW brand’s core segment takes the form of a gran coupé, with a sleek profile that has optimised aerodynamics with Cd of only 0.24. The BMW i4 combines the hallmark sporting aesthetic of the brand’s coupés with the comfort of a four-door car and a practical appeal enhanced by features including a large tailgate. The stretched proportions and clean lines bring fully-electric exclusivity and the sporting prowess for which BMW is renowned to the premium midsize segment. The centres of innovation in the BMW i4 – the blanked-off kidney grille, the battery technology in the floor area of the car and the sporty diffuser elements, which optimise the car’s aerodynamics – are highlighted by accents in BMW i Blue.
Stretched proportions, flowing lines
The BMW i4 has a vehicle length of 4,785mm, width of 1,852mm, height of 1,448mm with a 2,856mm wheelbase. The 1,600mm front track and 1,630mm rear track create the ideal foundations for a chassis set-up tuned to enhance cornering performance and are central to the powerful stance of the BMW i4. Short overhangs, slim pillars, doors with frameless windows and a roofline that flows smoothly into the rear underscore a silhouette that very much fits the BMW coupé mould.
Innovative interior with driver-focused cockpit design and BMW Curved Display
The interior of the BMW i4 fuses the clear design language and modern premium ambience with an extremely driver-focused cockpit design. The purely electric gran coupé comes as standard with a very slim and low instrument panel, which provides the perfect stage for the latest version of the fully-digital display grouping. The innovative BMW Curved Display brings the information display behind the steering wheel and the control display of the BMW iDrive control/operation system together, into a frameless, single-piece glass surface angled towards the driver. The 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display effectively merge into a single driver-focused unit.
The BMW Curved Display in the BMW i4 is held in place by a supporting structure that is concealed from the occupants’ view, so it appears to be standing freely in the cockpit. The high-quality display technology using anti-reflective glass also makes it possible to dispense with the binnacle usually required to shield the readouts from sunlight.
The rest of the interior design is likewise geared towards providing a highly involved driving experience. The BMW i4 is fitted as standard with sport seats and a sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons.
The BMW Live Cockpit Plus fitted as standard in the BMW i4 includes an audio system with DAB+ tuner, six speakers and an output of 100 watts. For those looking for the ultimate sound experience, there is the Harman Kardon surround sound system, complete with 16 speakers and a digital seven-channel amplifier delivering 464 watts of audio power which is optional on the i4 eDrive40 and standard on the i4 M50.
Acoustic pedestrian protection and BMW IconicSounds Electric
The electric drive system powering the BMW i4 produces not only zero local emissions but also almost nothing in the way of sound when driving at low speeds. To alert other road users that the i4 is approaching, it comes with an acoustic pedestrian protection system as standard. Developed specially for electrified BMW vehicles, the artificially generated sound is emitted through exterior speakers and is active up to driving speeds of up to 13mph.
An unmistakable, model-specific acoustic experience can also be enjoyed in the interior of the BMW i4. Pressing the Start/Stop button sparks an inspiring acoustic accompaniment that builds anticipation for the all-electric driving experience to come. This sound production was created as part of a collaboration between film music composer and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer and Creative Director Sound at the BMW Group Renzo Vitale.
BMW i4 M50 with performance-led styling cues
Model-specific design features give the BMW i4 M50 eye-catching looks that clearly reference its sporting character. The front apron has the signature U-shaped graphic of BMW M models. Additional side air intakes optimise brake cooling. The BMW kidney grille surround and the vertical trim around the air curtains come in Cerium Grey, likewise the exterior mirror caps and the inlays in the outer edges of the rear apron, while the air breathers, the side sill trim strips and rear bumper trim are painted in High-gloss Black. An M-specific spoiler on the tailgate and, for UK customers, the free choice between either 18-inch M aerodynamic wheels or 19-inch M light double spoke alloy wheels, round off the performance-oriented appearance of the BMW i4 M50.
The BMW i4 M50 also benefits from Vernasca leather upholstery, M Adaptive Suspension, electric memory seats, M seatbelts, Driving Assistant, wireless phone charging, Aluminium Rhombicle Anthracite Trim and Live Cockpit Professional including Head-up display.
BMW i4 eDrive40: choice of Sport and M Sport trim levels
The M Sport trim for the BMW i4 eDrive40 also conveys the car’s dynamic ability. Standout features of its specification include 18-inch M aerodynamic wheels with mixed tyres, Live Cockpit Plus and Black Alcantara/Sensatec. It also shares the same M Sport Exterior Styling, M Sport Spoiler and Aluminium Rhombicle Anthracite Trim of the flagship BMW i4 M50.
BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport customers in the UK can choose either 17-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels or 18-inch alloy wheels with a double spoke design within the standard specification. Live Cockpit Plus is also included on all models and the interior is set off with a Sport leather steering wheel, High-Gloss Black interior trim and Black Alcantara/Sensatec.
Equipment standard to all versions includes a reversing camera, Parking Assistant, automatic air conditioning, ambient lighting and LED lights front and back. A host of options are also available, enabling customers to personalise their i4 to their own individual requirements.
Production at BMW Group Plant Munich using purely green power, monitored raw materials extraction, high proportion of natural and recycled materials
The BMW i4 will be produced at BMW Group Plant Munich. Following the implementation of intensive structural and remodelling measures, the cutting-edge manufacturing facility is now equipped to build the all-electric BMW i4 alongside models with combustion engines and plug-in hybrid drive systems.
Vehicle production and the manufacturing of battery cells is achieved using 100 per cent green energy, while the specific design principle for the electric motors allows the use of rare earth metals to be avoided. For the high-voltage battery, controlled, transparent and sustainable extraction of cobalt and lithium have been employed. Elsewhere, production has also included extensive use of secondary raw materials, natural materials and recycled materials.
Manufacture of the BMW i4 in Munich represents a case study in flexible, efficient and intelligently integrated production processes. These processes characterise the latest (second) phase in the company’s transformation towards digitally networked, sustainable and electrically powered mobility. It is underpinned by the intelligent vehicle architectures designed from the outset for the integration of BMW eDrive technology, and by highly flexible production. This unique combination of factors ensures maximum flexibility and exchangeability between the different drive forms, which will allow the plant to respond to changes in customer demand at any time.