BMW recently issued a press release confirming the development – and subsequent launch – of the i4 Gran Coupe, expanding its lineup of electric models. Following the introduction of the iX3, and iNEXT, the German carmaker will bring the i4 GC to dealers.
The press release reveals a few key details about the car, and BMW’s overall plan regarding its electric vehicle department. The i4 Gran Coupe will use the carmaker’s fifth-generation EV powertrain, generating 530hp. EVs are heavy, there are no two ways about it. BMW will offset the new car’s heft (due largely to the 80-kWh battery pack) by using composites in its construction.
The BMW i4 will debut a smart, clean solution to battery disposal challenges associated with current EVs.
The claimed time for the i4 to hit 100kph is roughly four seconds, with a top speed above 200kph. The WLTP-tested range is quoted at around 600km. The fifth-generation eDrive system packages the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics together in one housing.
In addition to achieving mass centralisation, BMW claims the design unlocks a “significant increase in power density as well as reduction in weight and manufacturing effort.” The German firm goes on to say that the package “sets new standards in terms of power density, efficiency, and range.”
BMW has been researching into using sustainable materials to manufacture batteries, eliminating the need for rare-earth metals in motors to achieve desired power outputs. Oddly, it hasn’t mentioned the i4 GC’s torque output, which is usually the metric for comparison of electric cars.
Engineers at the firm’s Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich have developed a new high-voltage battery. The unit uses fewer components, and accommodates more cells in its modules. Its improved packaging unlocks more flexibility for placement in different models in the future. The i4’s battery pack can be charged to 80 percent in just 35 minutes, fed by a 150kW DC fast charger.
BMW will follow up the iX3 and iNEXT with the i4 Gran Coupe.
BMW is considering two drivetrains for the i4: a rear-wheel-drive trim featuring an electric prop shaft, and an AWD model with a drivetrain like the iX3’s (a motor over each axle). More variants of the BMW i4 Gran Coupe will follow, some with more power, and some with more range. This will be BMW’s third EV, with the automaker planning a total of 25 electric cars over the next decade.