2022 BMW i4 review: price, specs and release date
The new BMW i4 is an upcoming electric executive car promising up to 367 miles between charges. We've been for an early drive...
On sale November | Price from £51,905
BMW performed a U-turn in its approach to electric cars last year, and the brand is continuing down its new path with the launch of the BMW i4.
You see, back in 2013, when the radical i3 electric hatchback was unveiled, it seemed as though zero-emissions BMWs would always be designed from the ground up, rather than being related to petrol and diesel models. Then along came the iX3 – an electric version of the conventionally powered large SUV the BMW X3.
We'll leave you to decide for yourself whether a car that shouts that you've gone electric (as the i3 does) or whispers it (like the iX3) is more desirable, but one thing's for certain: the iX3 is much easier to recommend, earning our maximum five-star road test rating.
Key styling details on the i4 include a huge front grille, which is similar in size to that of the latest 4 Series Coupé but is sealed off as there's no need for engine cooling. It features blue trim highlights like the iX3's to mark it out as an electric vehicle.
To get an early indication of whether or not the i4 might be better than its chief rival, the Tesla Model 3, we accepted an invitation to drive a late prototype.
2022 BMW i4 driving
Two versions will be available at launch. The rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 produces 335bhp, gets from 0-62mph in 5.7sec and has an official range of 367 miles. The four-wheel-drive M50 model that we tried has 537bhp, a 3.9sec 0-62mph time and a 316-mile range.
Those figures show that the eDrive40 is a little slower than the Model 3 Long Range but can go slightly further on a charge, while the M50 falls short of the Model 3 Performance in both areas.
Still, you'd never describe the M50 as slow – 3.9sec is the same as the latest BMW M3 Competition performance saloon manages. If you put your foot down hard, the initial thrust is intense, then the i4 piles on speed in a seemingly effortless manner.
As a bonus, the accelerator response is beautifully calibrated, making it easy to pull away smoothly and build speed with exactly the ferocity you want.
What's more, there's little wind noise at speed except for a gentle whoosh across the windscreen, and road noise is well suppressed. BMW offers the option of a sound generator in case you want your i4 to deliver a sporty soundtrack, but there wasn't one fitted to the prototype we tried.
As with most electric cars, the batteries are located beneath the floor, which lowers the centre of gravity. While you're always aware that the i4 is a heavy machine, it feels nicely balanced in corners, grips strongly and resists body lean well.
There is some float over undulating roads, but the adaptive dampers are generally quick to react. The air springs are able to adjust the car's ride height, leading to fitting levels of comfort.
2022 BMW i4 interior
While the i4 is related to the 3 Series, it's not as practical because the more dramatically curved roofline reduces rear head room and the boot is 60 litres smaller, at 420 litres.
On the other hand, there's no shortage of space upfront. Much of our prototype's dashboard was covered up, but BMW has released images that show giant screens for instrumentation and infotainment that give it plenty of wow factor.
As a bonus, the rotary infotainment controller you get in other BMW's has been retained. That will make the system much easier to operate on the move than the touchscreen-only set-ups you find in some cars.
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