Many early adopters of EVs in Ireland that were looking for a premium option purchased the BMW i3. It was hugely impressive and did much to advance people’s opinion of EVs. However, BMW took their time coming to market with more EVs. With the SUV market getting increasingly busy, it was a welcome sight to see the Grand Coupe format i4 eDrive 40 and the i4 M50 arrive. Competition will be fierce as the BMW goes up against the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2.
Fans of the BMW 4 series will feel very comfortable with the design of the i4. Unlike the Model 3, the i4 is not built on a dedicated EV platform. Instead, they repackage the drivetrain depending on what the factory line is building at the time. To the untrained eye, this will be indistinguishable from its combustion brethren. The kidney grille synonymous with BMW design of late is retained, although closed off for the EV format. The sleek body shape and two-tone trim draws the eye toward the coupe styling at the rear. A choice of 18”, 19” or 20” wheels really fill out the frame of the i4.
Inside, pre-set memory seats make changing drivers very easy. BMW have kept the elongated curved screen that features in the iX, which is made up of 12.3” and 14.9” screens. The User Interface, BMW OS8, is on its eight generation and performs well. Wireless charging and couple of USB connection keep your devices ready to go. A very interesting touch by BMW was to hire music composer Hans Zimmer to create the enhanced sounds used in replacement of typical combustion engine noise, and all are played through the Harman/Kardon Surround System.
Delegation of space within the i4 is geared toward luggage and front seats. With the driver’s seat set for anyone at or above 6ft, there would be a struggle to fit another adult in behind. Luggage space stretches to 470 litres and 1,290 litres with the seats folded down.
Both versions of the i4 come with a usable battery of 80.7kWh. This will translate into WLTP ranges of 521km for the M50 and 590km for the eDrive40. Although real-world range estimates will be about 440km and 480km. Charging on AC comes in at 11kW which is in line with the competition. On DC, the i4 will peak at just above 200kW up until it reaches about 25% state of charge, before falling off gradually.
The big difference between the two versions of the i4 will be the motors. The entry-level i4 is Rear Wheel Drive. It is powered by a 250kW motor that has 430Nm torque and will go from 0 to 100kmh in 5.7 seconds. If you opt for the M50, you get AWD and two motors with a combined 400kW and 795Nm torque. The 0 to 100kmh sprint is dispatched with in 3.9 seconds.
The i4 will be a very welcome addition to the Irish market. Both quality and price will be premium, with the entry level costing around €60,000. The M50 is likely to cost in the region of €15,000 more. The i4 will be a very compelling option, and it will be interesting to see how sales progress in comparison to the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.
BMW i4 EV Video Review
This review is in partnership with EV Review Ireland and you can learn more about what I thought of the BMW i4 in the videos below.