BMW’s current electric cars are anything but pedestrian. The forthcoming i4 electric sedan will change that, however.
reported Thursday that the i4 will be treated more like a 4-Series variant than a standalone model. In fact, it could share a profile with the next 4-Series Gran Coupe with a slightly higher ride height to make room for batter packaging. The i4 will also use BMW’s CLAR architecture, which underpins the new BMW 3-Series. The platform supports internal-combustion engines, diesels, plug-in hybrid systems, and battery-electric powertrains.
There’s also the possibility of different battery packs for the i4 electric car. BMW will look at demand to understand if the company should introduce more than one i4 with differing electric ranges. However, at least one will offer as much as 375 miles. BMW’s head of i division, Robert Irlinger, said many rivals are hovering around 250 miles of range, so BMW will tackle an even longer-range model. He added the iNext electric crossover will go beyond 375 miles.
Lower ranges would mean cheaper starting prices, and Irlinger said such a model could do well with urban customers or those who have reliable access to fast charging.
The i4 will fall in line with BMW’s motif of toned-down electric car designs. Previously, the brand said that as the powertrain becomes more mainstream, designs won’t be needed to differentiate them. BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk told the publication that the i3 and i8 were designed to set themselves apart, but in the future, BMW will “offer our customers the choice; they can be very secret about the fact that their BMW is electric, or they will be able to be overt about it.”