BMW introduces i4 M50 into local market
A few months ago we were reporting on a compact hatchback just about every week. Now it seems as if the EV has become the focus of our local motoring industry as BMW has just introduced its latest offerings of fully electric vehicles. BMW South Africa recently launched its i4 and iX3 into the local market. Here is what you need to know.
This article will focus on the i4, an all-electric 4 Series GranCoupe. From a visual perspective this car looks great. That controversial front grille works well on this car, in fact it is ideal for the GranCoupe silhouette which is that of a coupe-like design. BMW has, for the first time added flush door handles to the car which add to the otherwise elegant look.
There are however some design elements that lend to this being an all-electric car. For starters that grille has no openings, it is a solid item. Other than that and the fact that the car has no exhaust outlets one will be forgiven in thinking that this is a normal 4 Series. We like this as it adds a somewhat ‘normal’ appeal to the car, unlike the overly futuristic iX model.
Inside all might look similar to that of other BMW models however the facia mounted screen is new. It's one curved element that offers the digital instrument cluster as well as the infotainment system. It’s a visually appealing design element which adds to the overall appeal of what is otherwise a well put together cabin.
Power is provided by BMW's latest 5th generation eDrive technology which combines the electric motors, power electronics, charging system and high-voltage battery. The electric motor, power electronics and transmission share one compact housing while the high-voltage battery is equally compact and mounted low in the floor of the new i4 for improved vehicle agility.
The i4 M50 produces 400kW and 795Nm thanks to its high-voltage NMC-811 batteries. BMW says it’s good for 0-100km/h in under 3.9 sec with a top speed of 225km/h. A range of 510 km is claimed and the vehicle can be charged via AC and DC options. It also supports 200-kW charging, which means, when fast-charging, you can get 140 km of range in 10 minutes.
The ingredients which make up the experience of driving a BMW include instantaneous power delivery, excellent traction and directional stability, neutral steering behaviour, precisely controllable handling even under maximum lateral acceleration, superb stopping power and an excellent balance between sportiness and ride comfort in everyday driving and on long trips alike. The new BMW i4 delivers all these attributes with zero tailpipe emissions.
The 5th generation eDrive technology offers instant torque-on-demand while the location of the high-voltage battery low in the vehicle's floor reduces centre of gravity for improved handling. Due to its silence BMW has employed the talents of acclaimed film-score composer Hans Zimmer to come up with electronic “soundscapes” to accompany the car’s performance via its speaker system.
We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the car for an extended period of time to better sample what it offers and how it fits into a real-world application.