BMW has amped up its electric-vehicle (EV) race via a new Gran Coupe, known as the BMW i4 Concept. At this stage the project is still being developed. But once again here we have one of the world’s most famous brands going EV.
Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design says, ‘the BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand.’
He goes on, ‘the design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission.’
I’ll answer the all-important EV question straight up, what’s the range? BMW claims it will run for up to 600km as (WLTP). The i4 will hit the ton from a standing start in around 4.0 seconds.
Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design added, ‘The design of the BMW Concept i4 shows fantastic proportions, a powerfully expressive character and, of course, a lot of attention to detail.’
‘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…As part of the package, the Concept i4 includes several exterior and interior design elements which will make an appearance in both the BMW i4 and other electrically-powered production vehicles.’
The first thing that struck me was the new BMW Curved Display. Mercedes-Benz offers a long flat, horizonal screen. But the Porsche Taycan is the only other car with a curved instrument cluster presented this way.
I remember sitting in a boardroom back in 2017 in Munich when the boss of the M performance side of things said something that stayed with me. To put it simply, the Germans told us they will go EV for M branded cars, when the performance required doesn’t blow the battery up. With the i4, the electric motor generates a maximum output of up to 390 kW. That’s as good as it gets when you pitch it against a petrol BMW V8.
Electric cars obviously make very little noise. But the i4 has, under the brand name of BMW IconicSounds Electric, suitable soundtracks. The sounds were overseen by world renowned composer Hans Zimmer together with BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale.
So, what on earth does all that even mean?
BMW says ‘it gives the driver the feeling that there are no limits of expression. The sound is manifold, surprising and it provides a sense of lightness and transparency. The sound worlds of the BMW Concept i4 range from the driving sounds in “Core” mode to the more intense and pronounced sounds of “Sport” mode. Also included are the sounds of the door opening and the starting scenario.’
And I’ll let the pics tell the story, rather than revealing my simmering rage about that bloody kidney grille!
There’s no word on pricing or availability just yet.