BMW i4 - ABC Leasing

Car & Driving
The independent definitive BMW i4 video review
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    By Jonathan Crouch

    Ten Second Review word count: 50

    BMW's i4 is a mid-sized EV sports saloon aimed at the very heart of the business sector, a car that incorporates all of the company's traditional brand values. And does so in a way that should appeal to EV customers looking for a more involving, individual choice in this segment.

    Background word count: 360

    The ICE age, as in 'Internal Combustion Era', is almost over and BMW is ready for what lies beyond. This car, the i4, was at launch the most important EV the brand had introduced to date. And there's a good case for calling it the most important BMW for decades. The company's been dabbling with EVs for a very long time now, ever since its 'Project i' division produced the ground-breaking little i3 back in 2013. After that though, there was a rather disappointing seven year gap, at the end of which we got a conventional looking EV version of the X3 (the iX3), then a year later, what looked like a properly dedicated design, the iX, which did in fact merely run on a (heavily modified) version of the company's combustion-orientated CLAR platform. The i4, launched in 2022, isn't designed around a properly bespoke EV platform either - that's coming with the 'Neue Klasse' EV models the company's introducing later in this decade. But it is very much a 'proper' BMW, as we're about to find out. When you imagine a 'proper' BMW, the car you tend to think of is a 3 Series saloon and if you were to conceptualise one of those as an EV, this is pretty close to what you might end up with. Actually, this i4 has a bit more in common with the brand's swoopier 4 Series Gran Coupe, not least because it has a swept-back GT silhouette with a tailgate rather than a boot. Anyway, what you need to know is that there's lots of carry-over between this i4 and those 3 and 4 Series models, all three designs made at the same BMW Group Plant Munich German factory. This car gets the fifth-generation of the brand's advanced 'eDrive' system, which incorporates this Bavarian maker's latest battery, motor, and charging technologies. And it's intended as a sportier alternative to pricier versions of more established Executive mid-sized EV sporting models, nearly all of them cars that really were designed from the ground-up as EVs, like the Tesla Model 3, the Polestar 2, the Hyundai IONIQ 6, the Kia EV6 and the Volkswagen ID.7.

    Driving Experience word count: 215

    i4 customers choose between three powertrains. The eDrive35 model gets a rear-mounted electric motor putting out 286hp and is good for 299 miles. The eDrive40 model gets a rear-mounted electric motor putting out 335hp, enough to power the car to 62mph in 5.7s en route to 118mph - the WLTP-rated range is up to 365 miles. If that's not fast enough, your alternative is the high performance M50 variant, which offers a rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive system. Here, the rear-mounted electric motor is joined by another on the front axle, creating a total output of 537hp, enough to get the car to 62mph in just 3.9s on the way to 140mph. The driving range figure falls though, to 318 miles. BMW hopes to set a fresh standard for handling in this segment and to that end has stiffened the chassis, given the car sharp, engaging steering and incorporated wider tracks than you get on a 3 Series. Rear air suspension is standard across the range and the M50 adds adaptive M dampers, plus a unique 'Sport Boost' function that can be used to release the drivetrain's maximum output when the car is being driven in 'Sport' mode. All i4 variants get a Dynamic Stability Control system that works 10 times quicker than a conventional set-up.

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    Category: Compact Car