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Electric BMW i4 limbos $100K barrier

BMW i4 to face-off with Tesla in Q1 of 2022, loaded with features and performance

16 Jul 2021

BMW’s all-electric, high-voltage i4 sedan is set for touchdown in Australia early next year with two versions, priced from a green bill less than $100,000 before on-road costs.


Two versions – the i4 eDrive40 at $99,900 plus on-roads and the first emissions-free BMW M car, the i4 M50 at $124,900 plus costs – arrive in the first quarter of 2022 to boost BMW’s new-generation EV line-up to three models following the iX3 and iX SUVs.


Built on a unique platform made for EVs, the i4 will come equipped for Australian customers with M Sport adaptive suspension and M Sport brakes.


The eDrive40 is a rear-drive sedan powered by a single 250kW/430Nm electric motor driving the rear wheels and fed by an 80.7kW/h lithium-ion battery. BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds and a range of 590km on the WLTP test.


It can be recharged to 80 per cent within 31 minutes using a 200kW DC charger, which can feed 164km of range into the battery within a claimed 10 minutes.


The i4 competes with the Tesla Model 3 Performance that costs $102,012 before on-roads and has claimed outputs of 335kW/640Nm and a 507km range.


Compared with the eDrive40, BMW’s first EV from the M division – the M50 –has two electric motors for 350kW/730Nm or for a 10-second overboost, 400kW/795Nm.


BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds, the same as the petrol-fuelled M3 Competition.


It has a range of 510km and charging takes 31 minutes to 80 per cent and a 10-minute charge will realise up to 140km, according to BMW. Maximum recuperation power under braking is 116kW in the BMW i4 eDrive40 and 195kW in the BMW i4 M50.


BMW has loaded the eDrive40 variant with a heap of standard kit including leather upholstery, park assist, auto boot opening, 12.3-inch driver screen and 14.9-inch touchscreen on the latest iDrive 8 software, 10-speaker audio, 19-inch alloys, adaptive dampers and LED headlights.


It also comes with BMW’s ‘Iconic Sounds Electric’ that allows integration of new drive sound variants created as part of BMW’s collaboration with legendary film and music composer Hans Zimmer.


Standard kit includes a domestic charger and a public charge power cable, and five years of unlimited use through Chargefox.


There are 40 driver assistance functions fitted as standard or available as options for safety. These include Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Cruise Control and Speed Limit Assist.


As standard, there is autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, speed limit recognition, lane-departure warning, park-distance control, reverse camera and assist, and parking assist with 360-degree cameras.


The M50 adds gear including 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio, sunroof, heated front seats, high-performance tyres and laser headlights.


Both i4 variants have a curved digital screen that groups the instrument panel with a 14.9-inch control display behind a glass surface angled towards the driver.


A standard three-zone automatic climate control system uses ‘nanofibre’ filter technology to purify the air inside the car, with control via a touchscreen display. Temperature is adjusted using the intelligently coordinated activation of airflow, seat heating and steering wheel heating.


The i4 uses a slim high-voltage battery with a cell height of only 110mm which is set low in the platform to position the centre of gravity 53mm lower than the equivalent BMW 3 Series sedan.


BMW says the i4 also has a highly rigid body, low body weight, wide tracks for handling stability and is aerodynamic with a cD of 0.24. The luggage area has a capacity of 470 litres and up to 1290 litres.


The i4 will be made at BMW’s plant in Munich. The factory uses electricity sourced from hydroelectric plants in Bavaria, which is part of BMW’s plan to reduce its emissions by 80 per cent by 2030.


2022 BMW i4 pricing*

eDrive40 (a)




*Excludes on-road costs

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