In spite of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show closing its doors for the press and public, manufacturers are still goin ahead to reveal the models they were planning to premiere. One of the most important of the entire auto show, at least on the EV scene, is the BMW Concept i4, the close-to-production design study that previews next year’s series model.
It will be a sleek and sporty looking fastback, with short overhangs and a long hood. The greenhouse appears to be pushed way back, so the rear deck lid is short, making the i4 look quite unique. As with other BMW EVs, it has blue exterior details to mark it out as one of the Bavarian automaker’s all-electric offerings.
And while BMW doesn’t directly state it in its press blurb, this is pretty much what the production model will look like. The headlights will definitely be different, and you can check them out in our spy photos, along with the rear lights.
What we can’t be sure about is whether or not the dramatic rear bumper with integrated diffuser will make it to production - it looks like it was designed with aerodynamics in mind, but if it did make production, it would be one of the most daring rear bumpers of any car.
The location of the charge port is also of interest. Since this i4 is essentially the all-electric version of the next 4 Series Gran Coupe, the charge port is exactly where you’d find the fuel tank cap, on the right rear fender - this may make it a bit tricky to position the car at some fast charging stations, although it will definitely not be a major issue.
The i4 Concept’s interior definitely deserves some attention too. While clearly a BMW interior, it has several unique features not seen on any of their other cars. Firstly, it debuts the curved panel that integrates both the digital gauge cluster and the infotainment screen - this is like the setup that Mercedes-Benz uses, only here both displays are curved.
BMW also appears to have done away with physical controls for the climate settings. All the concept has is what appear to be touch-sensitive controls for the front and rear defog right next to the hazard lights.
It also has to be said its steering wheel looks really good, and we hope it makes it into the production model. It goes really well with the whole design of the car and if it did make production, it would be one of the most striking helms in the industry.
Keep in mind that the interior will retain most of the concept’s layout, although it may be toned down in some areas. Materials most likely won’t be the same, so it will look a bit closer to interiors in the rest of the BMW lineup.
Regarding the powertrain, BMW has confirmed the information that was already out there about the i4. It has a WLTP range of up to 600 km (373 miles) thanks to an 80 kWh battery pack which, according to the manufacturer weighs 550 kilograms (1,212 pounds).
The sprint from naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes “approximately 4 seconds,” while its top speed will be “over 200 km/h” (124 miles). It’s powered by a single 530 PS (522 horsepower) electric motor that powers the rear wheels.
The vehicle will have three distinct driving modes: Core, Sport and Efficient. All three get unique widgets and graphics that correspond with their different purposes. Core, for instance, “introduces the driver’s area to an updated interpretation of the four “widgets” familiar from the display concept of existing models.”
In Sport mode, “the widgets come closer together and create a focussed view. Sideways movements behind the zones are used to show how tight the next corner is, facilitating anticipatory driving. This form of content presentation also allows effective peripheral viewing. The right-hand area of the display shows specific functions in a similar way to BMW M’s lap timer app.”
Finally, Efficient mode “debuts an Assisted Driving View, which shows the driver what the car’s sensors are detecting. This Experience Mode opens up deeper insights into the car’s technology, such as how it communicates with its surroundings. In the BMW Concept i4, the focus here is on anticipatory and efficient driving, and key information for efficient driving is incorporated.” The sound emitted by the i4 will also change based on whichever driving mode is selected.
Gallery: 2020 BMW Concept i4
BMW will launch the production i4 sometime in 2021 as the second all-electric model from its core range, after the iX3 which is set do officially debut this year. It’s also worth noting that it’s slightly ironic that the automaker is debuting its huge new 4 Series grille on an all-electric car where it serves no functional purpose other than hiding some sensors.
The BMW Concept i4.
The BMW Concept i4 pure-electric Gran Coupe takes electric drive to the core of the BMW brand. The BMW Concept i4 represents a look ahead to the BMW i4, slated to enter production in 2021.
Range of up to 600 km (373 miles/ WLTP), up to 530 hp, 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in approximately 4.0 seconds, top speed of over 200 km/h (124 mph). The virtually silent delivery of power creates an entirely new sensation of dynamic performance.
A number of design elements for the exterior and interior of the concept car will make an appearance in both the BMW i4 and other electrically-powered production vehicles.
Highlights – exterior.
The modern, elegant exterior represents a deliberate counterpoint to the dynamic flair of the driving experience. With its four doors, the BMW Concept i4 offers not only a high level of practicality, but also a much larger interior than the car’s dynamic proportions would suggest.
Crisp, smooth lines and taut volumes form a modern sculpture and create a clear surfacing language.
The modern exterior paint shade Frozen Light Copper reprises a colour nuance displayed by the BMW Vision iNEXT and showcases the interplay of surfaces to visually stunning effect.
Blue elements in the front end, flanks and rear point to the car’s BMW i origins. They shine a spotlight on the signature BMW i icons and bring the technology below the surface to the fore.
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www.bmwgroup.com Press release Date 3 March 2020 Subject The BMW Concept i4. Page 2 Corporate Communications
A host of aerodynamic measures maximise the car’s electric range. The most distinctive features alongside the blanked-off kidney grille and clear aero lips are the wheel rims designed exclusively for the BMW Concept i4.
The prominent, blanked-off kidney grille creates a bridge between the past and future of BMW. With no combustion engine to require cooling, it serves as an “intelligence panel” housing various sensors. The grille teases the technology behind the scenes with a design reserved exclusively for this model.
BMW is unveiling the brand’s new look for the first time. The new logo for communications also provides the basis for the two-dimensional and transparent badge on the BMW Concept i4.
BMW i Blue diffuser elements in the rear end indicate the presence of a pure-electric drive system and reference the design of the BMW i Vision Dynamics.
Highlights – interior.
In the front of the cabin, the new BMW Curved Display teams up with the steering wheel to reveal a new expression of driver-focused design. This will be the display used in the production versions of the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4.
Almost all operating functions – even the climate control – are integrated into the BMW Curved Display as part of an overall approach centred on reducing the number of controls to the minimum.
The understated use of different materials and the basic arrangement of controls creates a modern yet also luxurious ambience.
Accent strips in warm Gold Bronze blending to chrome lend the interior a high-class touch.
Press release Date 3 March 2020 Subject The BMW Concept i4. Page 3 Corporate Communications
The central control panel replaces a traditional gear lever with a toggle-type shifter. Elements such as the iDrive Controller and seat memory buttons in the doors are finished in a classy crystal glass.
The cloth/leather combination for the seats – composed of microfibre with line graphics and natural leather tanned using olive leaf – sets a high-quality and sustainable seal on the interior.
The rear compartment offers unexpected levels of headroom and legroom for a coupe. The cut-out in the head restraints is a classy detail that references sporty BMW models from the current line-up.
Highlights – user interface.
Three different Experience Modes within the BMW Curved Display enable users to explore the various facets of the electric drive system. They provide a look ahead in terms of visuals to the next-generation operating system for BMWs from 2021.
The sometimes striking visual differentiation between the three Experience Modes (“Core”, “Sport” and “Efficient”) spans everything from how the user experiences the display and graphics to how the interior is presented. Ambient lighting in the dashboard, doors and (indirectly) below the display indicate the technical adjustments taking place.
“Efficient” mode debuts an “Assisted Driving View”, which opens up deeper insights into the car’s technology, such as how it communicates with its surroundings.
World-famous composer Hans Zimmer worked together with BMW sound designer Renzo Vitale under the brand name BMW IconicSounds Electric to develop the acoustic flavour of the BMW Concept i4. Aural accompaniments to opening the door and starting the car are part of its soundscape.
Press release Date 3 March 2020 Subject The BMW Concept i4. Page 4 Corporate Communications
Looking ahead to the BMW i4.
Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology is a defining feature of the BMW i4 and therefore also of future electric mobility. The electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and high-voltage battery are all-new developments enabling the BMW Group to take another significant step forward in the field of electrified drive systems.
The electric motor developed for the BMW i4 generates maximum output of up to 390 kW/530 hp, which ranks it alongside a current BMW V8 combustion engine. Its instantaneous power delivery gives the BMW i4 standout performance attributes and exceptional efficiency.
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 600 km (373 miles) in the WLTP cycle.
Series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich. Approximately 90 per cent of the existing production equipment in the body shop can be incorporated into the process, i.e. adapted to manufacture of the i4. However, the remaining ten per cent – especially the machinery involved in building the rear structure – will need to be newly built. The company is investing a total of around 200 million euros in Plant Munich to bring series production of the BMW i4 to fruition.
Press release Date 3 March 2020 Subject The BMW Concept i4. Page 5 Corporate Communications
In the event of enquiries please contact:
Steven Wörns Press Spokesperson BMW Design
Benjamin Titz, Head of BMW Group Design, Innovation and Motorsport Communications
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2019, the BMW Group sold over 2,520,000 passenger vehicles and more than 175,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2018 was € 9.815 billion on revenues amounting to € 97.480 billion. As of 31 December 2018, the BMW Group had a workforce of 134,682 employees.
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