The BMW Group, pioneers in envisioning a sustainable automotive future, has consistently championed environmental responsibility. From resource conservation in the supply chain to eco-conscious practices throughout production and product life cycles, the brand has set a formidable precedent. After making waves with the groundbreaking BMW i3 and i8 in 2013 and 2014, the Bavarian automaker continues to broaden its electric model portfolio. In 2021, the BMW i4 joined the staple of emission-free models. Sharing its chassis with the 4-series Gran Coupe, this addition, available in the rear-wheel-drive i4 eDrive40 and the all-wheel-drive (xDrive) i4 M50, marks a significant stride in electric innovation. In this review, I’ll be focusing on the former, the BMW i4 eDrive40, offering my insights into this groundbreaking addition to the electric vehicle landscape.
As I eagerly prepared to test the waters of this electric marvel, the premium character of the BMW i4 unfurled before me. Going beyond market rivals, it showcased a high level of development in its drive system and chassis technology, an elegant design, and uncompromising standards in material quality and workmanship. The BMW i4 is not merely an electric vehicle. It also signifies a shift towards driving dynamics, underscoring BMW’s dedication to delivering an emotionally rich driving experience.
Premium Character and Driving Dynamics
Diving into the specifics, the BMW i4 eDrive40, the rear-wheel-drive variant, is yet another testament to BMW’s ongoing transformation towards electric mobility. Its flexible vehicle architecture, a product of this transformative phase, presents a BMW solution to the age-old clash between sportiness and long-distance ability. The efficient drive system technology and intelligent lightweight design combine to deliver an impressive range without the burden of disproportionately large and heavy batteries.
Under the Hood: BMW i4 eDrive40
Within the heart of the BMW i4 lies the i4 eDrive40, a rear-wheel-drive variant that exemplifies BMW’s ongoing transformation towards electric mobility. Additionally, the i4 eDrive40’s performance is shaped by its flexible vehicle architecture and efficient drive system technology. The improvements include power density, peak torque, and acceleration time, ensuring a thrilling driving experience.
Efficiency Boost: Adaptive Recuperation
Further exploring the specifics, the BMW i4 eDrive40 Intelligently connected drive management adapts brake energy recuperation to road situations, enhancing efficiency during deceleration. Whether approaching a junction or cruising on an open road, the i4 responds with adaptive efficiency, creating a smooth and efficient driving experience.
Adding to the list of advancements is the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. The impressive innovation combines the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission within a single housing. With a power density of up to 2.14 kW/kg and peak torque of 430 Nm, it boasts a 0–100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds. But it’s not just about speed. It’s also about a sporty driving experience enhanced by a model-specific drive sound, a result of a collaboration with film music composer Hans Zimmer. The standard BMW IconicSounds Electric introduces new sound variants, turning each drive into a symphony of innovation.
Adaptive and individually adjustable recuperation also adds another layer of efficiency to the i4, with intelligently connected drive management adapting brake energy recuperation to the road situation. Whether approaching a junction or cruising on an open road, the i4 responds with enhanced efficiency, feeding energy into the high-voltage battery while providing a unique “freewheeling” experience when the driver eases off the accelerator.
Design Excellence: A Visual Feast
At first glance, the BMW i4 captivates with its blend of sporting elegance, comfort, and modern functionality. Every detail, from BMW i Blue accents to aerodynamically optimized sporty diffuser elements, exudes sophistication and class. For example, the short overhangs, slim pillars, and frameless windows define the sleek silhouette that fits the BMW coupe mould perfectly. The roofline seamlessly flows into the rear, creating a distinct profile, while the edgy look is enhanced by slim headlights featuring optional BMW Laserlight technology and a striking BMW kidney grille. Discreetly integrated are the camera, ultrasonic, and radar sensors, enhancing both aesthetics and functionality.
Our BMW i4 review wouldn’t be complete without exploring the interior design and technological prowess. Acoustic glazing, pre-conditioning, sports seats, and a sports steering wheel create a driver-focused cockpit within a generously sized, variable-use space. The iDrive display and control/operation system, based on the new BMW Operating System 8, also elevate the interaction between driver and vehicle. The BMW Curved Display, a fully digital screen grouping, integrates a 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display, creating a natural dialogue between driver and vehicle. The extensively upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant adds a new graphic dimension to communicate with the vehicle’s occupants.
Electrifying Encounter with the Future
As I navigated the city streets in the BMW i4 eDrive40, the blend of innovation, sustainability, and sheer driving pleasure was undeniable. It’s not just a car; it’s a testament to BMW’s vision for a dynamic, eco-conscious future. The BMW i4 is not merely driving; it’s an electrifying encounter with the future of mobility.