The BMW Group unveiled a pure-electric Gran Coupe. The BMW Concept i4 represents a look ahead to the BMW i4, slated to enter production in 2021.
“The BMW Concept i4 brings electrification to the core of the BMW brand,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The design is dynamic, clean and elegant. In short: a perfect BMW that happens to be zero emission.” The drivetrain’s standout numbers include a range of up to 600 km (WLTP), output of up to 530 hp, 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 60 mph) acceleration of approximately 4.0 seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 km/h (124 mph).
Inside the car, the new BMW Curved Display teams up with the steering wheel to reveal a new take on driver orientation and offers a look ahead to the display in the production versions of the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. Here, the presentation surfaces of the information display and Control Display merge into a single unit inclined towards the driver. This screen grouping optimises presentation of information and makes the display’s touch operation more intuitive.
Almost all operating functions are integrated into the display as part of an overall approach centred on reducing the number of haptic controls to the minimum. Even the climate control system now works by touch control.
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.
Three different Experience Modes enable users to explore the various facets of the electric drive system. The sometimes emphasised 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.
“Core” mode introduces the driver’s area to an updated interpretation of the four “widgets” familiar from the display concept of existing models. Here, the graphics reprise the pattern above the air vents and the Gold Bronze accent colour, consciously referencing the car’s interior design. In the area where the central display used to be positioned, a map and widgets now line up alongside one another. The user can navigate around the diagonal widgets using a swipe movement and arrange them by drag-and-drop.
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.
“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 right-hand area of the display shows additional vehicle information, such as the charge level and range.
BMW IconicSounds Electric aims to emotionalise BMW's electric vehicles and make them audible using individual sound worlds. The sound worlds of the BMW Concept i4 range from the driving sounds in "Core" mode to the more intense and pronounced sounds of "Sport" mode. Also included are the sounds of the door opening and the starting scenario.
Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology is a defining feature of the BMW i4 and therefore also of future electric mobility. The BMW iX3 due to go into production in 2020 will lead the way in the application of the new tech, which will be introduced in a number of electrically powered BMW vehicles – such as the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. The electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and high-voltage battery using fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology are all-new developments. 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.
The fifth generation of BMW eDrive also brings a newly designed high-voltage battery with the very latest battery cell technology. It weighs roughly 550 kilograms, has an energy content of around 80 kWh and achieves an operating range of up to 600 km in the WLTP cycle.
Series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich.
BMW Group is company is investing a total of around 200 million euros in Plant Munich to bring series production of the BMW i4 to fruition.