New BMW Concept i4 previews 2021 Tesla Model 3 rival
BMW has revealed the Concept i4. It’s an all-electric saloon, which previews the German brand’s forthcoming i4 rival for the Tesla Model 3 that’s due to enter production in 2021.
Underneath, the Concept i4 (and the upcoming production-ready i4) shares its body-in-white with the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. A handful of styling tweaks, such as a larger radiator grille, updated headlamps, a tweaked rear end and a range of blue styling elements feature, in a bid to distance this electric saloon from BMW’s conventionally powered line-up.
BMW has also fitted a range of aerodynamically conscious design revisions, such as a set of wide-spoked alloy wheels and blanked-off ducting for the front bumper. The lowered side skirts also conceal the battery pack, while the reworked rear diffuser masks the space that would normally be occupied by an exhaust system.
Inside, there’s a new curved infotainment screen/digital gauge cluster combo, which BMW has confirmed will be used on the upcoming production-ready iNEXT SUV and i4 electric vehicles. The screen controls almost all of the vehicle’s functions, including heating and ventilation, infotainment and navigation.
The cabin is trimmed in a host of sustainable materials, including microfibre fabric and natural leather, which is tanned using an olive leaf pigment. As on the conventional 4 Series Gran Coupe, the centre console also features BMW’s trademark iDrive rotary control dial, albeit re-trimmed in crystal glass.
The BMW Concept i4 features a 523bhp electric motor, which provides a claimed 0–62mph time of four seconds and a top speed of 124mph. The powertrain is fed by an 80kWh battery pack, which provides a maximum claimed range of 373 miles.
Drivers have their choice of three display modes for the infotainment system – “Core,” “Efficient” and “Sport” – each of which is indicated by a unique interior ambient lighting set-up. The first is an updated version of the familiar four-widget display system found on current BMW products. “Sport” mode illuminates the cabin in red, moves the gauge cluster’s widgets closer together and adds a display that shows how tight the next corner is.
“Efficient” mode changes the cabin lighting to blue and adds BMW’s new “Assisted Driving View,” which the company says offers a better insight into the i4’s technology. The left-hand screen features a unique graphic designed to encourage more economical driving, while right-hand display is dominated by a larger charge level indicator and range meter.
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