German premium automotive giant BMW has given a brief peek of its promised BMW i4 electric sports car on Wednesday (Europe time), bringing in the next phase of its electrification plan.
And while it had originally stated it would for a quarter of all sales to be electric by 2025, it will now aim for 50% EV sales by 2030, and to offer electric versions of 90 per cent of models by 2025.
Lofty words, but that goal now seems fairly tame in light of bold statements from fellow European carmakers such as Volvo and Audi, which have recently announced they will stop developing combustion engines altogether in the case of Audi (although according to this article Audi doesn’t sound particularly happy about it), and stop selling them altogether by 2030 in the case of Volvo.
Instead, BMW is pegging its hopes on the i4, which BMW board member for sales Pieter Nota considers to be the “beating electric heart” of the German brand.
“With its sporty looks, best in class driving dynamics and zero local emissions, the BMW i4 is a true BMW. It makes the heart of the BMW brand now beat fully electric,” said Nota in a statement regarding the unveiling.
Although electric, the i4 clearly retains its BMW DNA with the kidney-shaped “grille” and as we’ve seen with other carmakers, a fake air inlet.
Other than that, not much more is known beyond what has already been unveiled by the company in previous announcements regarding the i4, which is expected to be able to achieve an electric driving range of 600 kilometres on a single charge thanks to its compact 80kWh battery pack and new battery cell technology which provides a high energy density, allowing the battery to weigh in at only 500 kilograms.
The i4 will boast a 390kW electric motor output delivering power similar to that of BMW’s V8 engines, while the i4 will also come with BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology, replicated from the iX3 EV.
Images of the i4 have been captured several times over the past two years, including back in August 2019, when the car was caught in full camouflage on a road test. BMW also unveiled a glimpse of the i4 concept vehicle in March of last year, offering a tantalising glimpse of a sporty EV.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, in a statement at the time.
“The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero-emission.”
“The design of the BMW Concept i4 shows fantastic proportions, a powerfully expressive character and, of course, a lot of attention to detail,” said Domagoj Dukec, head of BMW Design.
“With the BMW Curved Display, we have redefined BMW’s signature driver focus in an extremely elegant way. At the same time, the BMW Concept i4 transports a feeling of sustainable driving pleasure.”