BMW Group is on an electrification offensive. In the company’s 2016 annual report, the brand set out to be the leader in electrified vehicles, set by an initial goal to sell 100,000 electrified units by the end of 2017, which it did. Fast forward to 2020, and the group already has over half a million electrified vehicles on the road worldwide. While most of the sales are hybrid vehicles, the shift to all-electric is gradually increasing. At its current portfolio, the BMW Group already has two all-electric models currently on sale – the BMW i3 and Mini Electric. With the BMW iX3 due to be launched this year, and another two by 2021, the brand’s introduction of the Concept i4 is looking to change the electrification landscape once it goes into production next year. Recently unveiled, these are the highlights and a peek into BMW’s first-ever all-electric sedan.
- BMW unveils the brand’s new look for the first time on 3rd March 2020. The new logo for communications also provides the basis for the two-dimensional and transparent badge on the Concept i4.
- With its four doors, the 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 color shade 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 all point to the car’s BMW i origins. They shine a spotlight on the signature BMW ‘I’ icons and bring the technology to the fore.
- Several aerodynamic measures help to maximize 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 Concept i4.
- The prominent, blanked-off kidney grille creates a bridge between the past and future of the brand. With no combustion engine to require cooling, it serves as an “intelligence panel” that houses various sensors. The grille teases the technology behind the scenes with a design reserved exclusively for this model.
- 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.
- In the front of the cabin, the new BMW Curved Display teams up with the steering wheel to reveal a unique expression of driver-focused design. The display will be used in the production versions of the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4.
- Almost all operating functions – even climate control – are integrated into the BMW Curved Display as part of an overall approach centered on reducing the number of controls to the minimum.
- The understated use of different materials and the necessary arrangement of controls creates a modern yet also luxurious ambiance.
- 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 crystal glass.
- The cloth or leather combination for the seats – composed of microfiber 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.
- Three different Experience Modes within the 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 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 below the display indicate the technical adjustments taking place.
- “Efficient” mode debuts an “Assisted Driving View,” which opens 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 flavor of the Concept i4. Audio accompaniments to opening the door and starting the car are part of its soundscape.
What to expect
- 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 i4 generates maximum output of up to 530 hp, which ranks it alongside a current BMW V8 combustion engine. Its immediate power delivery gives the i4 standout performance attributes and exceptional efficiency.
- The version of the battery developed for the i4 impresses with its extremely slim construction and optimized 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.
- Series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich, Germany. Approximately 90% of the existing production equipment in the body shop can be incorporated into the process, i.e., adapted to manufacture the i4. However, the remaining 10% – especially the machinery involved in building the rear structure – will need to be made. The company is investing a total of around 200 million euros in Plant Munich to bring series production of the BMW i4 to fruition.
The new logo
- After 23 years, BMW unveils new corporate identity for online and offline communication purposes. The brand says that the new logos are better suited visually to the digital age.
- The logo is two-dimensional and conveys openness and clarity. The change is to reflect BMW’s transition from focusing purely on automotive to technology and connections.
- The new logo is a new media branding and will be used in addition to the existing logo. However, it won’t be used on vehicles or in the exterior and interior labeling of the brand’s dealerships.
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