The new BMW i4 is still two years away, but U.S. BMW dealerships had the chance to preview the car during a recent event. In Boca Raton, BMW introduced to their dealers not only the i4 electric sedan, but also the upcoming BMW iX3, iNEXT, 4 Series Coupe and M4 Coupe.
According to Ward’s Auto and Shaun Bugbee, executive vice president-operations for BMW of North America, the BMW i4 was a hit among dealers at the event, especially those from the West Coast. California accounts for 61% of BMW’s electric and plug-in hybrid sales in the United States.
“The dealers in that market when they saw the i4 in Boca, they were ready, like, tomorrow because they’re already in that selling environment,” Bugbee says. “I’ve got a pretty good sense if dealers are happy or not OK. The next thing somebody asks me is the lease price. That means they already think the cars is a good fit.”
Furthermore, Bugbee says that engaging the entire dealer network is needed. “We need the entire (U.S. BMW) network to have that perspective because it can’t just be a California solution,” he says.
BMW will debut another Concept i4 at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, but this one is a bit closer to the production than the previous Vision vehicle. While the BMW i4 has yet to be officially revealed, we do have some preliminary specs, straight from Bavaria.
When it debuts, the BMW i4 will have a maximum range of around 373 miles (600 km) and 390 kW / 530 horsepower, from an 80 kWh battery and 150 kW charging capabilities. It’s also said that it will be able to charge, at the 150 kW rate, 62 miles of range in only six minutes. It should be quick to do a 0-60 mph sprint, too. BMW is claiming the i4 will do it in just over four seconds with a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).
Of course, the range is based on preliminary data issued on the WLTP cycle. The EPA rating will likely be lower.
According to BMW, the upcoming BMW i4 is built atop the same platform as the 3 Series, 4 Series Coupe, 4 Series Convertible and 4 Series Gran Coupe models. The i4 will share this platform as well as the fifth-generation eDrive technology which will also be introduced on the BMW iNext.
This fifth-generation tech for the i4 brings out new electric motors, power electronics, charging tech and high-voltage batteries.