The all-new BMW i4 M50 is the first M-branded electric car from BMW | Source: The Car Guide

BMW i4 Arrives at the EV Party Early, Owing to its Blistering Speed

The electric car market is tipped to be worth more than one trillion dollars US by 2026 and BMW obviously does not want to be late to the party, becoming the first premium German automaker to offer an EV with the release of its BMW i4 Gran Coupe model.

The four-door BMW i4 Gran Coupe comes in three different configurations in Australia, the M50 Sport Model, starting at A$124,900 (before on-road costs) and the eDrive40 model – which is set to rival the Tesla Model 3 – with prices starting from A$99,000, excluding on-road costs.

But whether the German car manufacturer will be able to replicate the success of industry behemoth Tesla will hinge on its performance and production methods.

There is plenty of competition from Asian car manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia, but BMW brings its reputation for producing high-quality, luxury auto-motives to the table and will undoubtedly gain an immediate following.

If performance is anything to go by, the BMW i4 Gran Coupe EV battery seems like it may leave the competition in the dust.

In tests, the BMW i4 Gran Coupe has consistently beaten its fossil fuel-powered race-bred equivalent, the M3 on the track.

Over the all-important zero to 60 mile test, the BMW i4 M50 has come in a blistering 3.3 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the petrol BMW M3.

That makes sense, considering the power output of the EV is a whopping 536 horsepower from the dual electric motors, with 586 feet of torque to bring all that power to the road.

The canny EV buyer will appreciate the standard i4’s touted range of 520 kilometres with its single, rear axle electric motor while the dual-motor M50 sport model has a slightly reduced range of 465 km on a single charge.

Let’s talk about those electric motors for a minute because they are what sets the i4 apart from its competition.

BMW has decided it will not use the usual rare earth requiring permanent magnet motors, instead choosing unique “current-excited” AC synchronous motors.

This is to avoid the environmental costs of the rare-earth magnet powered motors as well as the supply-chain issues that stem from using these rare-earth materials.

In 30-to-50- and 50-to-70-mph passing tests, the BMW i4 Gran Coupe M50 achieved impressive 1.5 and 2.0 second times while the BMW M3 was comparatively sluggish at 2.4 and 2.7 seconds.

All this performance does not mean design and styling have been ignored, the exterior of this car, with its pleasing lines and curves, is reminiscent of other elemental BMW exteriors, the aggressively large grill similar to mid 20th century Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.

I’m probably most inspired by bold statements from art and architecture, such as Michelangelo’s sculptures and the feeling of sensuality they evoke. The car’s curves really tap into this; they flow seamlessly in and out

Head of BMW i design, Kai Langer

The car is, as the name suggests, a coupe, with all the aerodynamic benefits of the design the liftgate rises as you pop the boot blowing for a few extra pieces of luggage to be easily placed in the back.

The i4’s sumptuous interior makes indulgent use of screen space and other tech we have come to expect from a modern luxury automotive, it is 5G enabled and will feature a large, curved screen with BMWs iDrive infotainment and navigation system.

BMW has pulled out all the stops to craft a unique, future-proof EV that is sure to attract attention and very quickly turn heads, the car is a spectacular debut into the world of EVs with many more models and cutting-edge designs to surely follow, watch this space.

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