BMW Group used its annual general meeting held on Wednesday in Munich, Germany, to reveal its upcoming BMW i4 in production guise for the first time.
The battery-electric sport sedan is due to start sales in 2021 though timing for the United States is yet to be announced. At present we expect it to reach these shores in early 2022 as a 2022 model. That's when BMW will start sales of its iX electric crossover here.
The i4 is based on BMW's latest 4-Series and is designed to take the fight directly to Tesla's Model 3. It was previewed as a concept a year ago and shares its body with the redesigned 4-Series Gran Coupe that's still out testing.
BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse with the 2022 BMW iX and i4
BMW on Wednesday confirmed that the i4 will have multiple grades to choose from, with the top option being an M Performance variant packing 523 hp and an estimated 300 miles of range when measured by the EPA.
The battery will be BMW's fifth-generation design which is more compact on a per kilowatt-hour basis than BMW's earlier batteries. The automaker has previously hinted at an 80-kwh unit weighing in at a hefty 1,212 pounds.
For the 523-hp model there will be an electric motor at each axle, thus forming an all-wheel drive system. Look for 0-60 mph acceleration in under four seconds and a top speed capped at about 120 mph.
BMW fifth-generation motor system
BMW houses its electric motors in modular drive units that combine each motor with a single-speed transmission and power control unit in the same housing. Up to two of these can be fitted on an axle so we could potentially be looking at a more powerful i4 down the road.
BMW is yet to reveal the interior of the i4, but we know it won't just be a clone of the interior in the 4-Series. The automaker has confirmed that its latest iDrive 8 user interface will feature in the i4 (it will also feature in the iX). We could also see BMW introduce unique color and trim options like those in the iX to help differentiate the i4 from the rest of the 4-Series family.
Stay tuned as the full reveal of the i4 is planned for the coming weeks.