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BMW expands i4 range with entry-level model

Affordable i4 eDrive35 model debuts overseas; Australian arrival unconfirmed

5 Aug 2022

BMW has expanded its electric range with the new i4 eDrive35 model, available for order in Canada, giving us a taste of a more affordable i4 option we hope to see Down Under.


Entry pricing for the eDrive35 is $C54,990 ($A61,334), making it a compelling premium competitor to the similarly priced Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2 and Kia Niro.


Although BMW was not able to clarify whether the Australian market will see the entry-level i4, the potential to launch a model that could be eligible for several state and territory EV subsidies in what is now a burgeoning EV market may offer an enticing proposition.


Providing a serious competitor model to the market-leading Tesla Model 3, which has notched up 4657 sales in Australia so far this year, would improve BMW’s standing in the electric sales race.


BMW Group’s global announcement did mention that, although the model is only initially available for order in Canada, “other markets will follow subsequently”.


It complements the existing i4 family, made up of the popular i4 M50 and i4 eDrive40 models, but undercuts them as the cheapest electric offering from the Bavarian powerhouse.


According to VFACTS, 10,289 electric vehicles have been sold in Australia during the first seven months of 2022. BMW has confirmed to GoAuto that its products accounted for 528 of these sales.


The i4 eDrive35 shares the same 400V Gen5 eDrive powertrain technology as its i4 stablemates, and also features the same curved display with BMW’s iDrive8 operating system.


The powertrain consists of a single electric synchronous motor sharing the iX3 SUV’s outputs of 210kW and 400Nm, sufficient to endow the eDrive35 with a zero to 100km/h time of six seconds flat, while top speed is limited to an Autobahn-suitable 190km/h.


A new battery for the i4 eDrive35 gives the EV a claimed range of 418km, with a net capacity of 66kWh and total gross capacity of 70.2kWh.


For comparison, the eDrive40 sold in Australia sends 250kW/430Nm to the rear wheels – BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds – and it is fed by an 80.7kW/h lithium-ion battery for range of 590km. The model sells here for $99,900 before on-road costs.


Replenishment for the eDrive35 comes via both standard AC, and fast DC charging with a maximum of 180kW. Owners opting for DC juice will be able to go from 10- to 80 per cent charge in 32 minutes.


“We are happy to be so quickly expanding the offering for one of our most important products of the year, the i4,” said BMW Group Canada director of brand management, Andrew Scott.


“We strive to offer Canadians more choice and doing so in one of the fastest-growing areas of the business is crucial.”


Production of the i4 eDrive35 will commence in November this year at BMW’s Munich plant, with the first units expected at Canadian dealers in Q1 of 2023.


The introduction of the BMW i4 eDrive35 brings its global portfolio of fully electric cars to six model lines with 10 powertrains in operation.


BMW Group’s goal to convert 50 per cent of its global sales to all-electric models by 2030, is reason to believe the model lines will continue to expand.

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