Introducing: The BMW Concept i4
Published 3rd March 2020
Published 3rd March 2020
The wait is over, BMW Group has unveiled the next chapter in its history with the BMW Concept i4. The pure-electric Gran Coupe delivers a new take on the dynamics BMW vehicles are renowned for. Blending a modern, elegantly sporty design with the spaciousness and functionality the concept 4 is every bit a BMW whilst delivering zero local emissions.
The new, elegant exterior of the Concept i4 deliberately contrasts its dynamic driving flair. The perfect Gran Coupe proportions create an authentic, modern and confident appearance. The four door layout offers a both a high level of everyday usability and practicality, whilst also providing a much larger interior than the exterior proportions would suggest.
Crisp, smooth lines are complimented by a modern exterior paint finish. The Frozen Light Copper first displayed on the BMW Vision iNEXT returns to the i4 concept with stunning effect. Blue highlights point to the BMW i origins. Aerodynamically the latest interpretation of the famous kidney grill is blanked off to help improve the cars efficiency. The wheels are both lightweight and specifically designed to improve air flow. The absence of rear exhausts provide the opportunity to further optimise aerodynamics with a specially engineered rear diffuser.
The BMW Concept i4 has also given our first look at BMWs new brand image. The new logo for communications provides the basis for the badge on the BMW Concept i4. With a two-dimensional and transparent design it ensures allows the exterior colour to stand out further. The unveiling of this concept not only offers a glimpse of the future aesthetics, technology and innovation of the brand, it also uncovers the design potential within the BMW trademark.
The interior of the BMW Concept i4 follows the lineage of all BMWs and focuses on the driver with every element in the front of the cabin designed to this effect. A new Curved BMW Display partners with the steering wheel to deliver a new take on driver orientation and offers a look ahead to the display that will feature in the production versions of both the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. Advanced display tech with non-reflective glass also removes the need for a shroud to shade the displays, the result is a minimalist and airy cockpit.
The BMW Curved Display encompasses a large proportion of the section in front of the driver and above the centre stack, and gives the front area a very modern appearance. Its slim, borderless form exudes quality and sophistication. Almost all operating functions are integrated into the display as part of an overall approach centred on reducing the number of haptic controls to the minimum. Even the climate control system now works by touch control.
Rear-seat passengers benefit from generously-sized compartment offering levels of headroom and legroom that exceed expectations of a coupe silhouette. Integral head restraints for the front and rear seats add further to the sporting feel. The cut-out in the head restraints is references seats from the current line-up of sporty BMW models.
The rear seats create a lounge feel in the rear. The outer seats reflect the form of the front seats, heightening the dynamic and sporting flavour of the vehicle. Minimal use of stitching help further emphasise a clean and modern feel.
The look and feel of the i4 takes inspiration from outside the automotive world to create a different viewing experience. Influences from the latest electronic devices with the display itself providing considerable depth and a first class viewing experience.
Three different Experience Modes are available to drivers (“Core”, “Sport” and “Efficient”). Visually these utilise the next-generation operating system from 2021. Ambient lighting throughout the cabin also adapt to the mode selected and provide a visual cue of the technical adjustments taking place.
Being an electric vehicle you would assume the BMW Concept i4 would lack emotive sound. This is not the case as the i4 debuts a new brand name, BMW IconicSounds Electric. Created in partnership with renowned composer Hans Zimmer and sound designer Renzo Vital, the BMW i4 Concept has been given its very own characteristic sound that combines elements from BMW’s past and future. The sounds also change with the different experience modes whilst unique sounds have been created for both the door opening and starting scenarios.
The BMw i4 utilises fifth generation BMW eDrive technology which brings a newly designed high-voltage battery with the very latest battery cell technology. The version of the battery developed for the BMW i4 impresses with its extremely slim construction and optimised energy density. It weighs roughly 550 kilograms, has an energy content of around 80 kWh and achieves an operating range of up to 373 miles in the WLTP cycle.
The series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich. This means that, in the future, combustion-engined vehicles, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will be manufactured on the same assembly line in Munich. This integration will present a unique challenge for the company however, in the future the manufacture of various powertrains will become streamlined.