BMW Group has opened reservations for two new long-range, luxury battery electric sports cars that will arrive on Australian soil in early 2022.
Both EV offerings are from the company’s i4 series of cars and one of them the first all-electric offering from the German automaker’s high performance subsidy, BMW M.
BMW said on Wednesday that the two new EVs would join the company’s Australian lineup in the first quarter of next year, including the i4 eDrive40 (pictured below), which would combine a 250kW electric motor with a battery offering a maximum range of up to 590km, according to the WLTP cycle.
The second EV, the i4 M50 performance model (pictured above), would have an electric motor at the front axle and another at the rear to deliver system output of 400kW and “high-intensity driving pleasure,” while offering a of 510km in the WLTP cycle.
The prices of the new market entries have not been announced – although the $A pricing for the BMW iX ahead of its fourth quarter launch in Australia has been revealed, here – with local specifications and pricing details expected sometime ahead of deliveries.
“BMW Group’s technological expertise and long experience in the development of extremely sporty premium cars imbue the BMW i4 with dynamic driving abilities extending far beyond the rapid straight-line acceleration typical of a powerful electric car,” a statement said.
“The result is effortless progress, even in challenging driving conditions, as well as precisely controllable handling.”
BMW said the maximum system torque of 795Nm for the i4 M50 meant it could “sprint from 0-100km/h in a blistering 3.9 seconds.” In addition, the M50s would offer model-specific drive sounds to deliver “authentic feedback” in response to movements of the accelerator.
As The Driven has reported, this optional “energy charged soundtrack” for the BMW i4 M50 comes courtesy of the automaker’s collaboration with legendary film and music composer Hans Zimmer.
Both the M50 and the i4 eDrive 40 are based on BMW’s flexible vehicle architecture that was devised – from the outset and for the first time – for an all-electric drive system.
BMW says that efficient drive system technology and intelligent lightweight design enable sharp dynamics and a long range without the need for disproportionately large and heavy batteries. The batteries for the i4 models are touted as “extremely slim” with a cell height of 110mm.
“The fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology in the BMW i4 comprises drive units which bring together the electric motor, power electronics and transmission within a single housing,” BMW said.
“This highly integrated electric drive system topology gives a power density of up to 2.14 kW/kg and an exceptionally high efficiency factor.
“The performance characteristics of the motors are defined by their considerable torque. This is available on tap from pull-away and sustained over an extremely wide rev band.”
Both models will offer a range of regenerative braking settings, with one setting offering a high, medium or low Brake Energy Regeneration options, and a second setting activating a high level of regenerative braking automatically, for the distinctive one-pedal feeling. Maximum recuperation power is 116kW in the BMW i4 eDrive40 and 195kW in the BMW i4 M50.
The i4 charging system has been designed to enable flexible battery charging, including DC charging at up to 200kW. BMW says this would allow the car’s range to be increased by between 164km (eDrive40) and 140km (M50) within 10 minutes from a 10 per cent charge level.
The models also offer 40 assistance functions as standard or optional across driving and parking, including Active Cruise Control, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, front-collision warning and lane departure warning.
Inside, the i4s offer “a driver-focused cockpit and ambience of premium luxury together with a generously sized, variable-use space,” BMW says.
This includes seat heating and ventilation, a glass slide/tilt sunroof, ambient lighting and the Harman Kardon Surround Sound System. There is also a curved, 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display behind a glass surface angled towards the driver.