We recently learned that BMW was looking into offering the upcoming i4 electric sedan with a choice of either single or dual-motor configurations, which would make it either rear or all-wheel drive, respectively. Now, we’re hearing that the BMW i4 could actually replace the likes of the 4 Series Gran Coupe and be offered as a more mainstream option for traditional customers.
According to Auto Express, who spoke with the head of BMW i, Robert Irlinger, at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the BMW i4 will help bring the brand’s electric vehicles to the mainstream. The BMW i4 will be a sleek four-door coupe with two different electric powertrain configurations and possibly even multiple battery size options.
“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. Then there’s competition – 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.” told AE.
So the i4 will have around 375 miles of range but it might also have a smaller battery option for customers who don’t need a lot of range, thus allowing for a cheaper model. “It could be that different ranges are a good solution,” Irlinger told AE. “If it’s true that 300km is enough for some customers, then it could be wise to do a 300km version and a 600km version. We’ll have to look at demand, of course, because up to now, what we’ve found is that the customers tend to always buy the bigger battery anyway. But if you live in a city and do most miles there, and you have your own charging point or good infrastructure nearby, then 300km at a cheaper price could be fine.”
Such a car could be extremely attractive to a lot of customers, as it would offer similar range to the average 3 Series or 4 Series Gran Coupe but with high-tech electric powertrains, stylish and futuristic looks and normal car practicality. While BMW attempted to attract buyers with the i3’s futuristic looks and odd styling, it may have had the opposite affect, as many customers prefer the looks of, say, the Tesla Model 3, which looks much more like a normal car.
Even as a dyed-in-the-wool petrol-head, even I have to admit that a sexy, all-electric, four-door coupe with almost 400 miles of range and rear-wheel drive is something I’d be very interested in. So if that’s BMW’s plan to bring EVs to its mainstream buyers, it seems like a good one.
[Source: Auto Express]