The production model was announced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show as BMW i4. The G26 BMW i4 is BMWs fifth sub-brand i model, to be sold in multiple variants with different levels of performance, including BMW Motorsport, Germanys premiere electric car production unit. The original concept version provided design inspiration for the G26 BMW i4, as well as an insight into the companys future of EVs in the 2020s.
The initial concept version debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and was built on a modular Claret platform, instead of the carbon-fibre framework seen on contemporary i3 and i8 electric models. The BMW i4 is an electric sedan which largely maintains the traditional styling of the 4-series, but switches to an electric drivetrain. The 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 drives like the carmakers right-hand sports sedan, but it offers some impressive efficiency. The 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 has 335 horsepower and reaches 0-60 miles per hour in just 5.5 seconds – no records, but good enough for about 95% of driving scenarios.
If we compared an all-wheel-drive BMW i4 M50 with an entry-level, rear-drive BMW i4 eDrive40, testing the range under summer conditions in July, the eDrive40 (18 wheels, same tires) ended up having around 15-20% more range than the M50. For buyers of the single-motor model, the eDrive40 does not come with a big penalty in terms of range here (with this version offering 301 miles on a single charge). At the usable capacity of 66 kWh, BMW estimates a third would be fine for a 260-mile or so range in the EPA. The net 66.0-kWh battery would give BMWs i4 eDrive35 260 miles, according to BMW, down from the i4 eDrive40 models 301 miles, not much to pay in terms of range in return.
In BMW i4 eDrive35, a single electrically-activated synchronous motor is fed with a high-voltage battery pack that has a total storage capacity of 70.2kWh gross, 66kWh net. The fully electric BMW i4 sedan transfers electrons to one or two electric motors, depending on model. Using a Level 2 onboard charger (up to 11kW), the i4 can charge its batteries from 0% to 100% in under eight hours. The 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 is not quite as fast to top off the battery as Teslas Model 3, which maxes out at 250kW.
Sitting firmly in the middle of the pack, the 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 does not dazzle in terms of charging speed, as Teslas Model 3 and offerings from Kia and Hyundai did; it does, however, blend a range that is better than expected with charging speeds that should quell any worries about a road trip. While the 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 is sitting on a 400-volt platform, it still manages to take in as much as 200kW via DC quick charging, according to the automaker. The 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 looks like the German sedan, and the vehicles electric variant is a result of the automakers wish to create a platform capable of accommodating any powertrain. The fully electric BMW i4 sedan offers 4 Series Grand Coupe styling with a battery-powered drivetrain and very refined ride.
The elegant BMW i4 is a rebodied combustion-engined bodywork from a 4-series BMW Coupe, adapted to run on batteries and either one or two electric motors. The BMW 4-series Coupe runs on combustion engines. The i4 M50 includes a second motor driving the front wheels, offering 536 horsepower (400 kW) combined, with a 0-62-mph acceleration of less than four seconds. The M50 jumps to 83.9-kWh of battery, identical to the EDrive40, but this mid-level model has a single motor at the rear, producing 335 hp. The Spicy has the same 81.5-kWh battery, but it maxes out its claimed range of 245 miles.
On 18-inch wheels, the EPA reports the 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 will go 301 miles before the battery runs empty. BMW says that the i4 eDrive40, with a single motor and rear-drive, has the capability of traveling about 300 miles on a fully charged battery. At a commercial DC quick-charging station, the slick BMW i4 can take as much as 200 kW — same for U.S. or European – and boost its range by 90 miles in 10 minutes. The BMW i4 EDrive35 is already doomed for endless comparisons to the model I4 eDrive40, so let us just get it out of the way now, and point out that these days, the least-expensive Model 3 is a rear-drive version, which starts at $48,190 and offers 267 miles of range, alongside the identical 5.8-second startup time.
BMW i4 eDrive35 will sit just below the i4 eDrive40 model, which also offers the rear-motor layout, and just below the twin-motor i4 M50 model. The eDrive35 does not come until early 2023, with BMW pricing it at $52,395. BMW is expected to begin producing a third before the end of the year. Models introduced during the rollout included the M50, as well as the EDrive40.
The BMW i4 fully electric sedan was among the first from BMW, featuring the companys latest infotainment and connectivity features. From all other angles–including its construction quality, road manners, dealer support, and luxury–the i4 M50s all-electric performance more than makes up for its price premium.