German automaker BMW recently unveiled the Concept i4 all-electric car. Yes, the car you’re seeing here is just a concept, but it’s a pre-production model of the actual car. More than anything, the Concept i4 is BMW’s designated Tesla fighter in the EV category.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero-emission.”
The BMW Concept i4 is a four-door coupe
BMW calls it an electric Gran Coupe with four doors and four seats. It has the proportions of a performance sedan with a long wheelbase, short overhangs, and a fastback roofline – hence earning the Gran Coupe moniker.
At first, we thought we were looking at a car that can possibly dethrone the Tesla Model S. But as we crunched the performance numbers, the Concept i4 (or simply i4 when it enters production soon) is better suited to slug it out with the smaller Tesla Model 3.
It has the power to prove a point
BMW didn’t mention if the Concept i4 will be powered by a single or dual electric motor. However, we do know the car is good for 530-horsepower and zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. Also, the car achieves a top speed of 124 mph and achieves an EPA-estimated 270 miles of range using an 80 kWh battery pack.
Those numbers are certainly impressive for an electric car. In fact, the Concept i4 beats the base Tesla Model 3 except for top speed. Apparently, a base Tesla Model 3 rushes to 60 mph in 5.3-seconds, has a range of around 250 miles and is good for a top speed of 140 mph.
But compared to a Tesla Model S, the BMW Concept i4 falls short. The Model S in Long Range Plus trim is good for 390 miles of range and rushes to 60 mph in 3.7-seconds.
Of course, we’ll have to wait for the actual production model of the BMW i4 to really know what it can do.
Yes, it has the new BMW kidney grille design
The BMW Concept i4 is brandishing a new and prominent design for the familiar kidney grilles. It’s a love-it or hate-it design idiom, but there’s no question BMW is dedicated to moving forward with its newfound styling language.
But since the Concept i4 is an all-electric car, the tall kidney grilles are blanked-off to improve aerodynamics. However, the grille is now home to a barrage of sensors to power the vehicle’s autonomous driving and safety features.
Also, BMW is debuting its newest logo in the Concept i4. The new logo is slightly redesigned with a transparent outer ring.
The interior is home to BMW’s new curved display
The cabin of the BMW Concept i4 is dominated by a unique curved display for the driving instruments and the vehicle infotainment system. It’s essentially a massive ultra-wide display that elegantly curves or ‘wraps around’ the driver’s line of sight.
This massive display incorporates most of the vehicle functions including the climate controls. With this design, BMW engineers were able to dramatically reduce the number of physical buttons on the dashboard. The result is a cleaner and futuristic-looking interior.
The BMW Concept i4 is part of BMW’s master plan to offer 25 electrified vehicles by 2023. Meanwhile, the Concept i4 is destined to enter production by 2021.