BMW showcases Concept i4 all-electric concept car with series production slated in 2021
BMW has revealed its latest concept car, the all-electric BMW Concept i4. Slated for full serial production next year, the Concept i4 is a preview of things to come.
Despite, BMW’s polarising future design, the Concept’s all-electric drivetrain would make it more appealing. With a range of 600km and 523 bhp from its specially developed electric motor, the Concept i4 is able to sprint from nought to centennial kilometres per hour in 4 seconds with a maximum speed of 200 km/h.
The fifth-generation BMW eDrive introduces a newly designed high-voltage battery with the very latest in battery cell technology. The version of the battery developed for the Concept i4 boasts an extremely slim construction and optimised energy density. The battery pack weighs roughly 550 kilograms, has an energy content of around 80 kWh, good for 600 km in the WLTP cycle.
Without having any form of internal combustion in the Concept i4, BMW’s new double kidney grille serves as a window for the Concept i4’s many onboard sensors. Lighting wise, the “intelligence panel” is flanked with freestanding LED panels.
Presented simultaneously, the BMW Concept i4 played venue to BMW’s new logo for the first time. The new logo features a two-dimensional and transparent design which allow seamless integration to the car’s exterior colour, in this case, the Frozen Light Copper hue.
Inside, the few who sat in the Concept i4 will get to experience the slim and borderless BMW Curved Display, and feel new materials such as microfiber and leather tanned with olive leaves for the seats. The traditional gear lever has made way to a central control panel, and the iDrive controller and the memory seat memory buttons are made in crystal glass. As well as high-quality and sustainable seals on the interior.
Moreover, without having a combustion engine onboard, BMW has developed the Concept i4 own unique sound. First introduced with the BMW Vision M Next concept car, BMW IconicSounds Electric is developed by notable composer Hans Zimmer together with BMW’s own sound designer Renzo Vitale, which the sound of the Concept i4 combines BMW’s past and future.
BMW describes the sound as manifold, surprising and it provides a sense of lightness and transparency. The sound 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.
BMW says that the series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich. This means that, in the future, combustion-engined vehicles, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will be manufactured on the same assembly line in Munich.
However, preparing the Munich plant for mass production will be a short-term challenge for BMW to face in the coming months. This is because the i4 will be completely different than the company’s current models and the need to accommodate the high-voltage battery. While 90 per cent of the current production equipment can be adapted for the i4.
In addition, the remaining ten per cent – especially the machinery involved in building the rear structure – will need to be newly built, which the company is investing a total of around 200 million euros in Plant Munich to bring series production of the BMW i4 to fruition.