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BMW reveals i4 EV secrets

New mid-sized BMW i4 to get latest electric powertrain with 390kW and 600km range

20 Nov 2019

BMW is promising V8 performance and a driving range of about 600km from its first mid-sized electric passenger vehicle, the i4, that is due to go into production in Munich alongside 3 Series and 4 Series cars in 2021.


In a teaser media release that is no doubt timed to counter rival Audi’s unveiling of its all-new E-Tron Sportback at the Los Angeles motor show, BMW has revealed that the i4 will pack 390kW of power from its new fifth-generation electric powertrain – sufficient to push the four-door coupe from standstill to 100km/h in about 4.0 seconds and on to 200km/h-plus.


However, that is slower than the fastest version of the similarly sized Tesla Model 3, the Performance, which covers the 0-100km/h dash in a claimed 3.4s and tops out at 261km/h.


The Performance’s driving range is said to be 560km/h, but Tesla buyers can opt for the long-legged Model 3 Long Range with a 620km range.


The i4 will be the third all-electric model to get the new eDrive powertrain. First up will be the iX3 medium SUV next year, followed by the iNext large SUV and i4 in 2021.


BMW says the i4 gets its latest battery technology that packs more energy in a smaller and more flexible package that is “an extremely flat design” engineered in house.


The 80kWh battery weighs more than half a tonne – 550kg – but can be charged to about 80 per cent of its capacity in 35 minutes on a 150kW fast-charger. Roughly 100km can be added in about six minutes.


BMW says the modular battery is scalable for application on a variety of vehicles. In the case of the i4, the battery is sandwiched in the floor in a typical skateboard design, allowing designers flexibility in the body above.


The i4’s body is what BMW describes as a “clearly defined BMW gran coupe” while carrying the signatures of an electric BMW i model.


Images released by BMW appear to show a raised crossover design rather than a lower coupe style body such as the 4 Series Gran Coupe.


BMW aims to have 25 all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market by 2023. Twelve of them are expected to be full EVs.


BMW Group Australia is on the record as saying it is expecting to put up its hand for all of them.

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