BH CORRESPONDENT: BMW i was formed in 2011 as a sub-brand for BMW Group to design and manufacture plug-in electric vehicles. In that period it has progressed into a decent product portfolio with distinctive design language.
The virtual unveiling of a pure-electric Concept i4 Gran Coupe on Mar 3 indicates what’s coming next for the sub brand.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission.”
The car boasts of a host new technology applications with both performance and output in mind. The electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and high-voltage battery using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology are all-new developments. The electric motor generates maximum output of up to 530hp with 0-100 km/h sprint in approximately 4.0 seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 km/h.
While most EVs are comparatively quiet on the move, the i4 comes with its own soundtrack, thanks to BMW IconicSounds Electric by world renowned composer Hans Zimmer together with BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale.
Form with function has been a key aspect in BMW’s design ethos and hence aerodynamic elements play a significant role. They not only help maximize the car’s electric range, the large kidney grille doubles up as an “intelligence panel” housing the various sensors. Even the rims have been designed exclusively for the Concept to combine aerodynamic and lightweight design. The car’s design DNA one could argue is a direct evolution of the 2017 i Vision Dynamics design study.
For the interior, the driver-focused cabin features a curved multifunctional display along with the steering wheel highlighting a new take on driver orientation.
Three Experience Modes (“Core”, “Sport” and “Efficient”) spans everything from how the user experiences the display and graphics to how the interior is presented. Ambient lighting in the dashboard, doors and (indirectly) below the display indicate the technical adjustments taking place.
Series production of the new i4 will begin in 2021.