Just a few hours ago, BMW revealed to the world the new generation of its iconic M3 sports sedan, as well as its coupe version, the M4. However, even though both thermal models have grabbed all the headlines, another important launch was announced shortly before their presentation: an M version of the i4, BMW’s rival for the Tesla Model 3.
The BMW i4 will be the electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupé, a kind of fastback derivative of the popular 3 Series, which will go on sale next year. BMW M CEO Markus Flasch confirmed. that the vehicle will have a high-performance variant, something that, on the other hand, is not surprising considering the popularity achieved by the Model 3 Performance.
However, everything seems to indicate that the i4 M will not be an equivalent model to the M3 and M4, but that it will be part of the M access offer (that is, together with the M340i and M440i). Therefore, we can expect visual improvements, a power greater than that of other versions, and a chassis with a specific tuning, but in no case a radical proposal.
BMW does not want to launch the M electric cars until battery technology is more advanced. “It is not just about power and acceleration,” said Flasch, pointing out areas for improvement such as weight and sound before considering marketing an electric BMW M.
Sitting on the CLAR modular platform, the BMW i4 will initially be launched in two versions: sDrive40e and xDrive50e, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive respectively. In both cases, the battery will have about 80 kWh of capacity, which will allow the vehicle to reach a maximum range of 373 miles of autonomy.
Like the recently launched iX3, the i4 will use the fifth-generation eDrive powertrain, which integrates the engine, power electronics, and charging system under one unit. The xDrive50e will have a 530 hp power, making the 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds, with a top speed of about 125mph. As can be seen, it will have a power greater than the 510 hp of the M3 Competition and M4 Competition, so the M variant will greatly exceed them despite not being a new version.