2021 BMW i4 – what we know so far

BMW is rebooting its all-electric i brand with a new saloon to rival Tesla's Model 3...

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Darren Moss
22 October 2018

BMW i Vision Dynamics concept
BMW i Vision Dynamics concept

On sale: 2021 | Price from: £55,000 (est)

Back in 2013, BMW began a bold experiment. Called BMW i, it was intended to act as a tech-heavy sub-brand to showcase the best that electric car technology could offer. Think Mercedes-AMG or Ford Performance with more electricity. But following the initial launch of the i3 hatchback and the i8 sports car, there hasn't been an all-new i model to shout about. That’s about to change, however, with the launch of the i4.

The all-electric coupé-styled saloon will count Tesla’s Model 3 among its key rivals and will sit on underpinnings derived from today’s 4 Series Coupé. Its styling will be heavily influenced by the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept car revealed at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.

BMW i Vision Dynamics concept

2021 BMW i4 range and power

The Vision Dynamics had a range of up to 372 miles, far outstripping today’s electric cars. That was said to have been made possible through advances in battery technology that allowed energy to be stored more densely and efficiently than is possible in existing electric cars.

For the production-ready i4, BMW is hoping to increase the range to an official 435 miles – giving it the longest range of any electric car. Officials have also promised to “redefine what is possible” in terms of 0-62mph sprint times. The Vision Dynamics concept, for example, could hit 62mph in less than four seconds, while today’s Tesla Model S in P100D form can do the same in 2.7sec.

Two configurations of electric motor are being considered for the i4. The first features a single electric motor sending power to the car’s rear wheels, while the second option is to use two electric motors – one on each axle – to give the i4 four-wheel drive. Jaguar's I-Pace features four-wheel drive, as does Tesla's Model X SUV. Drivers of the i4 will be able to choose between front and four-wheel drive, depending on which driving mode they select. Regardless of which option is chosen, the i4 will come with a power output of around 350bhp.

Next: BMW i4 interior and autonomy >