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The upcoming all electric BMW i4 brings new generation eDrive technology and interior equipment, and there's also a M version coming.

02 Jun 2021 | International News : Germany


BMW has unveiled details of its new upcoming all electric sedan - the brand new BMW i4. The new i4 represents the next key development for the BMW i brand as the company continues to further its electrification strategy, an all-electric premium car aimed at the traditional core of the midsize segment. Extensive details have been revealed by BMW, with the press release totalling 54 pages. Here's a breakdown of some of the key information that you should know:

1. Fifth generation eDrive technology

Improvements to the NMC-811 battery cell technology brings a 40% increase in volumetric energy density compared to the i3
The i4 eDrive 40 features BMW's fifth generation eDrive technology, comprising the electric motors, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery. This highly integrated drive technology results in an improvement in power density over the electric drive system in the 2020 BMW i3 of around 30%.

Making its debut in the BMW i4 will be an extremely slim high-voltage battery. The battery's gross energy content of 83.9kWh allows the i4 to have a range of up to 590km in the WLTP test cycle. The new high-voltage batteries are also particularly suited to reuse of their raw materials as part of a circular approach. The materials used in them and their design result in a recycling rate of up to 90%.

The battery's maximum 200kW charging capacity allows for 100km of range to be added in just 10 minutes
As part of the new BMW eDrive toolkit, there is also a new Combined Charging Unit (CCU) that offers a high level of flexibility when it comes to using charging stations of different types.

The CCU allows power to be taken onboard at up to 200kW, which can add 100km of range in just 10 minutes, and 10 to 80% takes 31 minutes. Using a standard 11kW AC charger, the i4 can be charged from 0 to 100% in under 8.5 hours.

2. Next generation interior

The BMW Curved Display will run the new Operating System 8, which offers expanded interactivity and functionality
The interior of the car features a new BMW Curved Display, which merges the 12.3-inch information display and the 14.9-inch control display into a frameless, single-piece glass surface. There's also a new 3+ generation head-up display.

iDrive has also been upgraded, with the i4 running the new Operating System 8. The new system is designed with a focus on dialogue-based interaction using natural language and on touch operation. Consequently, new features available immediately include the expanded capabilities of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, which uses a new graphic to communicate with the vehicle's occupants.

3. New driver assistance systems

The i4 offers Level 2 automated driving, and is able to react accordingly to traffic light signals
The i4 features new driver assistance systems that tap on a network of extremely advanced sensors. Speed Limit Assist controls the car's speed by both maintaining the desired safety distance to vehicles travelling in front, and observing speed restrictions along the route. It also uses the navigation system's map to look ahead and reduce the car's speed when approaching a corner, a roundabout, a junction or an exit.

The Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function has also been enhanced to offer increased comfort in urban settings, including the ability to detect traffic light signals. The system will also brake the car to a standstill if necessary, and in slow-moving traffic, pull away again automatically once the situation allows. Taken together, the new i4 is certified for Level 2 automated driving in accordance with SAE International Standard.

4. Gran Coupe style

The i4 is targeted at the midsize segment, and delivers familiar style and dimensions
The i4 is targeted at the midsize segment, a category BMW is traditionally strong in with its ever-popular 3 Series. The i4's overall design is highly reminiscent of the 4 Series Gran Coupe - four doors, stretched proportions, a tapered roofline, and a liftback boot.

Size-wise, it is 4,785mm long, 1,852mm wide, 1,448mm tall and has a 2,856mm wheelbase. It also has wide wheel tracks that exceed the values for the 3 Series Sedan by 26mm at the front and 13mm at the rear.

5. Trademark dynamism

Increased torsional rigidity contributes to the i4's handling capabilities
As with any BMW, driving dynamics are key. And while an all electric car will certainly be heavier compared to a traditional ICE car (batteries are heavy), the new i4 aims to still deliver trademark BMW handling. BMW has made important choices when it comes to materials, such as using aluminium on the hood, fender, reinforcements and bearings, to keep the weight relatively low. And to manage the car’s 2,050kg weight, key improvements have been made to increase torsional rigidity across both axles, as well as to create a very rigid body.

Of course, the low CG of the car also has advantages when it comes to driving dynamics. Combined with lift-related dampers and an electromechanical steering system, the i4 promises to deliver accurate sharp steering and excellent driving dynamics.

6. There's an M version coming!

The i4 M50 is the first all-electric M car that boasts electric all-wheel drive and a stunning 795Nm of torque
Yes, there's an all-electric M car on the way, in the form of the new i4 M50. It boasts exceptional performance, with an output of 536bhp and 795Nm of torque that allows the first all-electric M car to rush from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. The car also boasts 510km of all-electric range.

Power comes from two electric motors fitted to either axle, which marks the debut of a fully electric all-wheel-drive system for the BMW Group. The i4 M50 also boasts a bespoke adaptive M suspension with individually configured springs and dampers, specially designed anti-roll bars and an additional spring strut tower brace in the front end, along with variable sport steering. It is set to deliver outstanding agility and driving dynamics fitting of the car's M badge.

The i4 is expected to be available to market globally in Q4 2021, with the i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 introduced together. For Singapore, the i4 is expected to be launched in Q1 2022. BMW is currently evaluating the i4 M50 for our market, and if it is brought in, it will be sometime in H1 2022 after the introduction of the eDrive40.

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