BMW i4 for the U.S.: Everything we know as of April 2022

Last decade, BMW impressed the world with the i3 EV and the i8 PHEV, which were quite ahead of their time in 2013. After making an early foray into the electrified vehicles space, the brand has played catch-up to other EV makers. The BMW iX SUV arrived after the competition had already spruced up in late 2020, and the BMW i4 only made its debut in mid-2021.

Here’s everything we know about the BMW i4, the company’s first electric gran coupe:

Design

After witnessing a barrage of two-box SUVs with in-your-face designs, the i4’s low-slung three-box styling has a sanitizing effect on the eyes. The i4 appears traditional and futuristic in equal measure. Upfront, there’s the latest iteration of the BMW kidney grille, which is closed off with a glossy black finish. There’s a lower air inlet to cool the battery and vertical vents on the side of the bumper to cool the brakes. The sleek full-LED headlamps are standard.

The BMW i4 eDrive40 has 18-inch wheels as standard, but it is available with 19-inch units optionally. The i4 M50 comes with 19-inch rims as standard and can be upgraded to 20-inch units. However, note that larger wheels usually reduce the range. Head to the specifications section to check the range of the i4 with different wheel sizes.

The door handles on the BMW i4 sit flush with the bodywork but are not pop-out units. The window line flows neatly into the Hofmeister kink while the roof slopes gently into the rear in a coupe-like fashion. The taillamps are incredibly sleek, and with no need for an exhaust, BMW has tweaked the rear bumper to improve aerodynamics.

The rear bumper houses a diffuser and sharply cut vertical aero vanes on the sides of both versions. The front bumper on the M50 gets a signature U-shaped design and additional side intakes to cool the brakes. The kidney grille surround is finished in Cerium Gray, as is the vertical trim around the air curtains. There’s additional gloss black treatment to the window surrounds and the rear bumper appears very aggressively styled. There’s also a spoiler on the tailgate for improved downforce.

Interior & Features

BMW iDrive 8

The cabin matches the sporty appeal of the exterior design with many driver-focused elements. The BMW i4 has a free-standing curved display that integrates two screens – a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen – and tilts towards the driver. The screens are integrated with BMW’s latest-generation iDrive 8 software. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also on offer.

BMW says the new system gets more processing power, and the OS has been optimized for more efficient and easier human-machine interaction. The BMW Personal Assistant uses new graphics to communicate. At the same time, the Natural Dialogue feature is now more accurate, allowing drivers and passengers to use voice, gestures, and gaze in various combinations to communicate with the BMW i4.

Lots of physical controls

The i4 comes standard with sports seats and a sports steering wheel. BMW hasn’t eliminated physical controls, and there are a visible amount of buttons in the cabin. The start/stop button is on the center console, which also houses the rotary iDrive controller and buttons for the e-parking brake, drive modes, traction control, auto start/stop assist, cameras, and parking sensors. Secondary music and climate control buttons are positioned under the central air-con vents.

Additionally, there’s a 23-inch-long panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting with pulsating function, and a standard 10-speaker sound system with a 205 W amplifier. A 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with a 464 W amplifier is optional.

Hans Zimmer’s acoustic contributions

What’s more, Hans Zimmer has developed artificial sounds for the BMW i4 to alert pedestrians and road users. The sound can be altered using the infotainment, and there’s different output in Comfort and Sport driving modes. For the M50, there’s a unique energetic tone to bode well with its performance-oriented powertrain. In collaboration with Hans Zimmer, BMW has tuned the sound to the minutest precision – the brand claims there’s an authentic output even to the slightest tap on the throttle pedal.

5G-enabled with eSim

The i4 and the iX are the first BMWs to benefit from 5G supports with the help of an eSim. Users can add the eSim to their existing mobile plan and benefit from the EV’s 5G antenna to activate an in-car WiFi hotspot. Moreover, American telecom giant T-Mobile has introduced a dedicated eSim plan called Magenta Drive for BMW. The eSim gets liked to the customer’s BMW user ID and hence is available anytime users sign into their account.

How does this benefit the user? Well, they can stream their favorite songs or movies from their preferred platforms (Spotify or YouTube for example) and access a wealth of information online at unhindered 5G speeds.

BMW i4 Specifications

Lower center of gravity than the 3 Series

The BMW i4 is based on the same platform as the iX, a modified version of BMW’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR). The brand says the i4 M50’s center of gravity is 1.3 inches lower than the 3 Series sedan. The eDrive40’s center of gravity is 2.1 inches lower than the gas-powered sedan, thanks to the battery module positioned between the axles. The low center of gravity certainly improves handling and ride quality.

The i4 eDrive40 and the i4 M50 come with different powertrains. The former is RWD and comes with a single rear-axle-mounted electric motor which develops 335 hp and 317 lb-ft. It comes mated to an 81.5 kWh battery (net) that delivers an EPA-estimated range of 301 miles on 18-inch wheels and 282 miles on 19-inch wheels. Performance is exciting, but not not on Tesla levels. 0-60 mph time is 5.5 seconds, and the top speed is 118 mph.

90 miles range in 10 minutes

The BMW i4 also supports 11 kW AC and up to 200 kW DC fast charging. The battery can be charged from 0-80% in 8.25 hours using the AC charger and in just 31 minutes using a DC fast charger. BMW says in 10 minutes, a 200 kW DC rapid charger can add 90 miles of range.

BMW i4 charging side profile
BMW says in 10 minutes, a 200 kW DC rapid charger can add 90 miles of range. Image: BMW

Performance upgrades on the M50

The i4 M50 is for enthusiasts who can cough up the extra bucks, get more horsepower and settle for less driving range. It gets a dual-motor AWD set-up. Combined output is 536 hp (with Sport Boost) and 586 lb-ft, which can slingshot the sedan to 60 mph in a supercar-equalling time of 3.7 seconds. The top speed is as high as 140 mph. The range is compromised compared to the RWD model. With the same battery (net), the i4 can run for 270 miles on 19-inch wheels and 227 miles on 20-inch wheels.

The M50 comes with AWD. However, it is a rear-biased system and only sends torque to the front wheels when the driving conditions demand more grip. The M50 also comes standard with adaptive M suspension for dynamic handling. Both models come with self-levelling rear air suspension.

BMW i4 Specificationsi4 eDrive40i4 M50
Length188.5 inches188.5 inches
Width (without mirrors)72.9 inches72.9 inches
Height57.0 inches57.0 inches
Wheelbase112.4 inches112.4 inches
MotorSingle (RWD)Dual motors (AWD)
Power335 hp536 hp
Torque317 lb-ft586 lb-ft
Battery (net capacity)81.5 kWh81.5 kWh
Maximum Range (EPA)301 miles (18-inch wheels)/282 miles (19-inch wheels)270 miles (19-inch wheels)/227 miles (20-inch wheels)
0-60 mph5.5 seconds3.7 seconds
Top Speed118 mph130/140 mph
Range figures vary depending on tire size. The above mentioned range is EPA tested for 18-inch (eDrive40) and 19-inch wheels (M50)

BMW AR Experience

BMW Augmented reality experience
BMW has used Google Cloud’s prowess in the AR domain, and users can take a deeper look at the i4 using the AR feature on bmwusa.com

In March 2022, BMW introduced the augmented reality experience for its customers, created in association with Google Cloud. The AR feature can be experienced on bmwusa.com, where fans or potential buyers can digitally place the car into real-life conditions and play around with paint and lighting permutations and combinations. BMW has used Google Cloud’s prowess in the AR domain, and users can even take a deeper look at the materials used in the i4’s and iX’s cabins.

BMW i4 Price & Release Date

The BMW i4 eDrive40 price is USD 55,400 (MSRP), excluding destination and handling fees and other taxes. The i4 M50 is priced at USD 65,900, also excluding destination and handling fees and other taxes. Customers may benefit from the USD 7,500 federal tax credit, bringing the price significantly down. Customer deliveries of the i4 in the U.S. have started.

Production of the BMW i4 takes place at the brand’s 100-year-old facility in Munich, Germany, since October 2021.