BMW has previewed its first series-production all-electric sedan, the i4, in concept form.
Set to take on the Tesla Model 3, the coupe-style i4 will enter production next year in Munich, Germany, while its Australian launch is currently set for 2022.
The i4 is powered by an electric motor that produces a V8-like 390kW of power. As such, it sprints from a standstill to 100km/h in about four seconds flat.
The sedan is mated to an 80kWh battery that weighs about 550kg, provides up to 600km of driving range on the WLTP combined-cycle test, and can be recharged from zero to 80 per cent in about 35 minutes.
While silent motoring is a reasonable expectation to have when driving the i4, BMW tapped renowned composer Hans Zimmer to help develop unique sounds for the sedan. These vary from drive mode to drive mode and function to function.
Styling-wise, the i4 is punctuated by its large double-kidney grille, which is less functional due to the lack of an internal-combustion engine. There’s also slim headlights, recessed doorhandles, the obligatory coupe-like roofline, a chunky rear diffuser and new logos.
Inside, the minimalist sedan is dominated by curved, Mercedes-Benz-style dual displays, one of which is the digital instrument cluster, while the other is powered by the central multimedia system, which in this instance is of the next-generation variety.
While the concept is near-production, the series-production i4 is expected to be revealed next year with some exterior and interior revisions, but don’t expect that polarising grille to go anywhere.
Given the i3 tallboy hatch was BMW's first all-electric vehicle, and the iX3 SUV will enter production later in 2020, the i4 will be the brand's third zero-emissions model. The iNext SUV will launch around the same time.