BMW’S elec­tric i4 to ‘re­de­fine’ its class

Autocar - - PARIS MOTOR SHOW -

THE BMW i4 will go into pro­duc­tion in 2021 as a Tesla Model 3 ri­val, the Ger­man firm con­firmed at the Paris show.

Pre­viewed as a con­cept at last year’s Frank­furt mo­tor show, the i4 will have a range of up to 435 miles and will “re­de­fine what is pos­si­ble to­day for 0-60mph times”, ac­cord­ing to BMW chair­man Har­ald Krüger.

The car is set to be based on the 4 Se­ries GT’S struc­ture to en­able it to have more space and sportier driv­ing dy­nam­ics than the i3 and it will use BMW’S fifth-gen­er­a­tion elec­tric pow­er­train ar­chi­tec­ture. A va­ri­ety of bat­tery packs will be of­fered, off­set­ting cost against range.

BMW’S head of de­sign, Adrian van Hooy­donk, con­firmed that the pro­duc­tion car will be ex­tremely close to the con­cept in ap­pear­ance and hinted that the com­pany’s board has given ev­ery­one in­volved in the project the brief to re­de­fine the bench­marks for the class.

“From a de­sign point of view, it will be es­pe­cially emo­tional and ap­peal­ing in­side and out, but it will be true to BMW’S val­ues in ev­ery way,” said van Hooy­donk. “That means it will be the most dy­namic car in its class, partly for how the mo­tors work, but also be­cause it will be lighter than ri­vals and the fo­cus on ride and han­dling will be greater.”

The i4 will be one of five pure-elec­tric cars the firm has com­mit­ted to make by 2021. It will join the i3 (on sale now), Mini Elec­tric (2019), ix3 (2020) and in­ext (2021) in BMW’S line-up. The com­pany will also have at least 10 plugin hy­brids on sale by that date.

How­ever, Krüger said the firm’s elec­tric car plans will then ramp up again be­tween 2022 and 2025, by the end of which he has pledged to have 12 elec­tric ve­hi­cles and 25 plug-in hy­brids on sale.

“You can see that in 20222025, there will be a quick ramp up that, we think, will re­flect the mar­ket and which is any­way a ne­ces­sity to hit the emis­sions tar­gets we are be­ing set,” he said. “Our strat­egy is in place to rapidly de­velop cars for the fu­ture.”

A larger i5, pre­viewed by the i Vi­sion Dy­nam­ics con­cept, is ex­pected to be part of the new model launches planned from 2022.

BMW i Vi­sion Dy­nam­ics shows styling di­rec­tion

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