BMW i4 Research

The Car Connection BMW i4 Overview

The BMW i4 is an electric sedan that is based on the 4-Series Gran Coupe, retaining much of that car's styling and general dimensions.

BMW's other electric products so far have been much more radically styled, with the i3 providing a bubbly greenhouse and the iX a more minimalist interior with sharp angles and attractive finishes. In sharp contrast, the i4 can glide around looking like a regular vehicle until you get closer and realize it isn't making any engine noise.

MORE: Read our review of the 2023 BMW i4

The four-door i4 keeps the 4-Series Gran Coupe's fastback style proportion with a liftgate for better access to the cargo area. Unfortunately, it also keeps the 4-Series' oversized kidney grille, though it's been filled in because there isn't an engine behind it to cool off. This makes it look even more prominent and draws the eye from any angle where the front of the car is visible. The i4's performance model, the M50, does a better job of obscuring the grille with its extra inlets and more angular lower fascia, but on the base eDrive40 it sticks out like a sore thumb (nose).

Both of the i4 models come with an 83.9-battery, but differ in drivetrain setup from there. The eDrive40 has a single motor mounted at the rear axle that makes 335 hp, while the M50 adds another motor to the front axle for a combined output of 536 hp. M50 models also come with a boost function, that is activated for 10 seconds at a time when the car is in Sport mode. This unlocks all of the 536 hp for short bursts as needed.

Range is better in the base car, topping out at an EPA estimated 301 miles. The M50 tops out at 270 miles, but both models lose a good amount of range if you opt for the larger wheels. Going for 19-inch wheels over the standard 18-inch wheels drops the eDrive40 down to 282 miles of range, while the M50 drops all the way down to 227 miles if you option up to the larger 20-inch wheels with high-performance tires. The i4 does feature fast charging capability up to 200 kw and can go from 10%-80% charge in just 30 minutes on a DC fast-charger. On an 11-kw Level 2 charger, it takes about 9 hours to fill the battery from empty.

The i4's interior also closely apes the 4-Series, except for one key area: its screens. The 12.3-inch driver display and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen sit behind a single pane of curved glass, making it look more futuristic. The infotainment display is especially crisp and is powered by iDrive8, BMW's newest system, and comes with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the capability to display maps/directions from both in the driver display as well. Synthetic leather is standard, as are powered front seats, dual-zone climate control, and blind-spot monitors. Real leather, several advanced safety features, heated/cooled front seats, and a wireless charging pad are all optional.

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