2021 BMW i4 to ‘normalise’ EVs for the brand – report

All-new EV to bridge the gap between main line-up and electrified division.

The upcoming BMW i4 could bridge the gap between the company’s electrified ‘i’ division and its core range, according to a new report out of the UK.

Auto Express claims the Bavarian manufacturer’s new electric vehicle (EV) will be much closer aligned to the next-generation 4 Series, right down to the CLAR modular architecture underpinning everything from the new 3 Series to the 7 Series and X7.

Unlike the i3 and i8, which are vastly different to their equivalently-numbered counterparts in design and construction, it’s said the i4 is being treated as an extension of the next-generation 4 Series range.

However, while it will likely share most of its running gear with the new 4er, the i4 will likely get a unique exterior and interior design to keep it in line with other ‘i’ models, along with the i Vision Dynamics concept that previewed it (pictured).

BMW’s design director, Adrian van Hooydonk, told the British publication he believes vehicles like the i4, along with the upcoming iX3, will normalise electric mobility.

“With the original i3, we wanted to give our customers the feeling that they are stepping into the future. But in the future we will offer our customers the choice; they can be very secret about the fact that their BMW is electric, or they will be able to be overt about it,” he said.

“I think in the next years, electric mobility will become standard; it will become normal. It will become just one of those powertrains that you can choose. And that will probably lead to the customers not necessarily wanting a design differentiation.”

As for driving range, BMW i boss, Robert Irlinger, indicated the i4 will be capable of “around 600km” per charge.

Above: BMW iX3 concept

“We asked the customers; it seems to be that the starting point for i3 in the early days was okay. But it seems that now, 300km (186 miles) is the minimum that you can offer to have an accepted range for customers,” he said.

“Tesla, Audi and Mercedes are doing 400km (250 miles) in WLTP. So it seems to be again beyond 300km – up to 600km (375 miles) or 700km (435 miles).”

“But if you look at the numbers we’ve already spoken about, the iX3 will be beyond 400km and the i4 will be around 600km. The iNEXT will be on top of that, as well,” he added.