The much-awaited BMW i4 is now in Singapore.
First unveiled in June 2021, the i4 is the electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. It is powered by BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive, and comes with the brand’s latest Operating System 8 in the cockpit.
The fifth-generation eDrive combines the electric motor, power electronics and transmission within a single housing, which has the advantage of reducing its size while increasing the system’s overall efficiency.
The electric motor itself is electrically excited and does not utilise fixed permanent magnets. This means no rare earths are used in its construction.
One model variant, the eDrive40, is currently available. It offers 340hp and a maximum range (WLTP) of 590km.
ELECTRIC FROM THE START
The BMW i4 is built on a flexible vehicle architecture that for the first time, was devised for a pure electric drive system. The slim high-voltage battery’s cell height is only 110mm and has a fixed connection with an aluminium shear panel and the front axle subframe.
Because of its low placement, the i4’s centre of gravity is 53mm lower than that of the 3 Series.
BMW says that the integrated application of powertrain and chassis components helps give the i4 a degree of design coherence “unmatched by its rivals.”
Speaking of batteries, the i4 comes with BMW’s latest battery cell technology. The gravimetric energy density of the lithium-ion battery is 20 percent more than the battery in the i3. Gross energy content now stands at 83.9kWh, while the net content is 80.7kWh.
With anticipatory thermal management, the battery’s operating temperature can be optimised before stopping at a fast-charging station to facilitate rapid charging.
The battery can accept DC charging of up to 205kW. If the battery is at 10 percent, the car’s range can increase by up to 164km after just 10 minutes.
Though it may resemble the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the i4 features unique styling elements that make it look more distinct compared to its ICE-powered (internal combustion engine) sibling.
The i4’s large kidney grilles are blanked off, while i Blue accents around the body highlight its electric nature. Drivers can customise the i4 with the optional M Carbon exterior package, along with model-specific M Performance parts.
Standard features for the interior include ventilated seats, Vernasca leather, sliding/tilting sunroof, ambient lighting and a Harman Kardon audio system.
As seen in the BMW iX, the i4 also comes with OS 8 and the brand’s Curved Display, a single screen that houses the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment system.
The digital Intelligent Personal Assistant now has additional skills and uses a new graphic to communicate with the vehicle’s occupants. Remote Software Upgrades help keep the car’s software up to date.
CONVENIENCE AND ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS
Around 40 assistance functions (both standard and optional) are available in the BMW i4. The long list includes Front-collision warning, Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control, Park Distance Control and Parking Assistant with Reversing Assistant.
Parking Assistant Plus including Surround View and Remote 3D View is available as an option.
POWERTRAIN AND PERFORMANCE
The i40 eDrive40 delivers 335hp (340PS, 250kW) and 430Nm. With output sent to all four wheels, the i4 can zip from rest to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds. Top speed is 190km/h.
With a net battery capacity of 80.7kWh, the i4 has a maximum range of 590km. To help it achieve this, the i4 has both adaptive and individually adjustable recuperation levels.
With adaptive recuperation, the intensity of the brake energy recuperation can be adapted the road situation based on data from the navigation system and sensors used by the driver assistance systems.
For instance, when approaching a junction, recuperation is increased and the energy captured is fed to the batteries while the car decelerates. On the open road, the coasting function can be activated so that the i4 “freewheels” when the driver lifts his foot from the accelerator.
Alternately, in driving position D, the driver can manually choose from a high, medium or low Brake Energy Regeneration from the iDrive menu. In driving position B, there is a high level of recuperation and one-pedal driving is possible.
BMW Group Asia has partnered with Shell to offer i4 customers either a comprehensive home or public charging package.
For home charging, customers will receive a wall-mounted AC charger with complimentary installation service.
Customers who opt for public charging will have a subscription package of 10,000kWh for three years at Shell Recharge stations with no monthly cap for charging.
BMW says this is equivalent to 50,000km of driving range, assuming an average consumption of 20kWh per 100km.
“The BMW i4 is finally here to satisfy the growing appetite for more environmentally friendly vehicles in Singapore,” said Lars Nielsen, Managing Director, BMW Group Asia.
“Based on a recent survey we conducted in Singapore, 87% of drivers believe owning electric vehicles (EVs) will contribute to a more desirable and environmentally conscious world by reducing carbon emissions. We completely agree and are on track to make this happen with the i4.”
“With 22% of the respondents expressing interest in purchasing an EV themselves, I am confident our first all-electric gran coupé will quench their thirst as they look to go green.”
BMW i4 (A)
MOTOR Current-excited synchronous
MAX POWER 335hp (340PS, 250kW) at 8000-17000rpm
MAX TORQUE 430Nm at 0-5000rpm
BATTERY CAPACITY 83.9kWh gross, 80.7kWh net
POWER TO WEIGHT 129.1hp per tonne
GEARBOX Single-speed automatic
0-100KM/H 5.7 seconds
TOP SPEED 190km/h
CONSUMPTION 19.7kWh/100km (combined)
MAX RANGE 590km
PRICE INCL. COE $311,888 (after $25k VES rebate)
AGENT Performance Motors