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Electric BMW i4 looks set to take on the M4. Image by BMW.

Electric BMW i4 looks set to take on the M4
The new BMW i4 could have a few potential M4 buyers considering changing their order
<< earlier BMW article     later BMW article >>


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What's all this about?

BMW has spent the last few years convincing everyone that it can make good electric vehicles. It relied on the i3 to make up the numbers while giving us a bit of electrified fun and style with the i8. Now EVs are starting to take over, the Bavarian automaker wants to go beyond its traditional idea of "sheer driving pleasure" to a new era of "electric driving pleasure." Enter the new BMW i4.

Will it upset M4 drivers?

Possibly, because the i40 M50 has 544hp, which is 41hp more than the petrol-powered BMW M4 Competition. The i40 M50 also has 795Nm of torque and will hit 62mph in 3.9 seconds, just a tenth slower than the M4. These are serious numbers no matter what's under the bonnet. For those who like going round corners more than in a straight line, the slim high-voltage batteries that were specially designed for the i4 help the car sit 53mm lower than a 3 Series, which reduces the centre of gravity.

Further down the range there will be the i4 eDrive40 Sport and M Sport versions, which will still get you to 62mph in 5.7 seconds.

Sporty and practical?

The i4 is a Gran Coupe, which means rear passengers get their own doors, like in an M3 Saloon, and more space than in an M4 Coupe. It has 40 litres more boot capacity than an M4, too, so you can pack in loads of stuff and head off on holiday.

It's not even the case that the i4 will have to keep stopping to recharge - the M50 version has an official range of 317 miles and, if you use a 200kW fast-charger, then you can grab up to 87 miles of range in just 10 minutes. The i4 eDrive40 will give you 367 miles and add 102 miles at the same fast-charger.

Yes, but it doesn't sound as good as an M4 right?

That's probably true, although think ahead to a time when everything's electric and some will probably say that a V8 sounds horrid compared to an EV (not us, obviously). However, the chap who created the soundtrack to the movie Days of Thunder, Hans Zimmer, has also created the soundtrack for the BMW i4. The optional BMW IconicSounds Electric system delivers what BMW calls authentic feedback relative to how hard you apply the accelerator or the speed you are travelling at. Granted, it's probably not going to make it sound like a NASCAR, and there's a danger it could be a bit naff, but Zimmer is a legend so it's something to brag about.

When is it coming?

Priced from £51,905 on-the-road, deliveries of the new i4 will start in November 2021, but if you're interested, you can register on its website to be kept up-to-date.

Mark Smyth - 2 Jun 2021

Earlier articles featuring 2021 BMW i4

2021-03-17: Production BMW i4 breaks cover
2020-01-22: BMW details i4 chassis development work
2020-03-03: BMW unveils i4 EV

2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.

2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.2021 BMW i4. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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