BMW has unveiled its first practical electric model, the i4 concept. Due to enter production in 2021, the i4 is based loosely based on the upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe and also features a four-seat layout, sloping roof line and the new vertical slat kidney grille.
The i4 is the third model in BMW's i-range, joining the i3 city car and i8 sports car which ends production in April of this year. The i4's aim is to blend dynamic driving traits, sporty design and spaciousness into a sedan that produces zero carbon emissions, says BMW.
Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president of the carmaker's design arm, says: "The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand. The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission."
Power is sourced from a rechargeable electric battery located on the car's floor, the high-voltage battery uses fifth-generation eDrive technology. It generates a maximum output of up to 390kW.
Crucially, BMW says the i4's power source has an energy content of 80kWh and has a range of 600km in the WLTP cycle, the battery weighs around 550kg.
A 0-100km/h sprint time of four seconds is quoted.
The sound of the i4
Because electric cars are silent when they're on, BMW has developed a unique sound for the i4. It was developed under the brand name of 'IconicSounds Electric' by world renowned composer Hans Zimmer together with BMW's sound designer Renzo Vitale.
BMW says its 'IconicSounds Electric' aims to bring emotion to the company's electric vehicles and make them audible using individual sound worlds.
The sound of the Concept i4 achieves this to perfection says BMW – it combines the carmaker's past and future. It gives the driver the feeling that there are no limits of expression.
The sound is manifold, surprising and it provides a sense of lightness and transparency. The sound worlds of the Concept i4 range from the driving sounds in "Core" mode to the more intense and pronounced sounds of "Sport" mode. Also included are the sounds of the door opening and the starting scenario.
Compiled by: Sean Parker