For the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, BMW used two electric conversions of the 1602 as transport vehicles for the Olympic committee. Therefore, the original zero-emissions Bimmer was unveiled about four decades before the company’s first production electric car, the i3. Fast forward to 2022, the European Championships are being held in Munich, so what better way to build a bridge through time if not by having another orange EV?
This i4 is wearing the very same Inka Orange color used back in 1972 for the BMW 1602 Elektro-Antrieb (Electric-Drive). This classic shade is no longer in the company’s color palette, so what we’re dealing with here is actually a full body wrap. The German luxury brand does offer a couple of orange tones, including uni Fire Orange and metallic Sunset Orange but these have different codes. We saw the “022” Inka Orange earlier this year on a gorgeous M1 at the Amelia Concours d’Elegance.
When you think about it, the i4 is the 1602e’s spiritual successor since the 02 Series was replaced by the 3 Series and the i4 is essentially an electric 4 Series Gran Coupe derived from the 3 Series Sedan. The car in question is the midrange eDrive40, which slots above the newly announced eDrive35 but below the performance-oriented M50.
The Inka Orange i4 is fairly basic since it doesn’t have the M Sport Package but it was fitted with the optional 19-inch aerodynamic wheels. As for the interior, the electric BMW has Sensatec perforated synthetic leather in Canberra Beige, which is a departure from its ancestor since the 1602e was black on the inside.
For those who are unfamiliar with BMW’s first foray into EVs, the 1602e had 19 miles (30 kilometers) of range from a 12.6-kWh Varta battery that weighed 350 kilograms (771 pounds). Power came from a Bosch electric motor with a continuous output of 12 kW (and 32 kW peak) sent to the rear wheels, enabling the 1602e to reach 31 mph (50 km/h) in eight seconds and top out at 62 mph (100 km/h).
Source: rsDrive / YouTube, BMW Welt / Instagram