In the last few hours, two models have been seen during their testing phase that want to change BMW’s relationship with the electric car radically. A strategy so far focused on the i3 and from next year will see how two models arrive that embody this new orientation. This means launching an attractive saloon, the i4, and an SUV, the iNext.
The first is the BMW i4. A model that will rival the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3, as well as the future Audi A5 e-Tron. The i4 will derive from the next 4 Series Gran Coupé, from which it will take its five-door fastback bodywork and its CLAR modular platform. Aesthetically as we can intuit despite the camouflage, it will have a very similar appearance to the new 3 Series and the thermal versions of the 4 Series. However, it will differ from them thanks to the use of a fairing grille, specific bumpers, wheels, and recessed handles on the doors to improve its aerodynamics.
Its muscular body draws attention, responding to a configuration with very sporty top-of-the-range versions, where we will find a variant with up to 530 HP of power. An i4 that will mount batteries from 60 kWh for the access versions, with an estimated 450 km of WLTP autonomy. The most equipped will have an 80 kWh battery and an approved autonomy of around 600 WLTP kilometers. Figures still to be certified.
An i4 that will be able to access loads of up to 150 kW, which will allow it to reach 80% load in 25 minutes, while its arrival is scheduled for the next year.
The other pillar of BMW’s future electric car program has also been spotted. The iNext SUV has also been seen conducting a series of tests in northern Europe.
In this case, the proposal is part of a very fashionable segment in the different markets, which makes us think that it will be a more global proposal than the i4. An SUV that will follow the example of its brother and will not differ too much in appearance from the rest of the conventional range of the German brand. A radical change concerning their first electric, the i3, which denotes the vital step forward that they have decided to take from the Bavarian group.
As we can see from the photos, the iNext takes a more familiar path, with room for at least five passengers and a fair amount of cargo. Something that will add to a propulsion system and batteries that will copy what we have seen in the i4, but that could add a variant with four-wheel drive—an almost essential element for this type of vehicle.
It is also rumored that it will add a more substantial capacity battery and instead of the 60 kWh in its access version, it will offer the 80 kWh, while the most capable will be able to reach close to 100 kWh. Something that will allow the SUV also to manage to exceed 600 kilometers of WLTP autonomy despite its worse aerodynamics and higher weight.
But without a doubt, the most exciting aspect of the iNext photos are the elements that it has on the outside. Some components that are part of an autonomous driving system, which, according to the latest information, may allow this model to achieve Level 3 autonomy. Something that in practice means that the driver will only have to put his hands on the wheel for a matter of legislation, but the car will be able to carry out most of the operations.
An iNext that will also have other technological advances, such as a system that allows the transparency of the windows to be adjusted manually. In practice this allows reducing heat input and reducing the consumption of the air conditioning system. All in a model that will hit the market in 2021.