BMW i4 EV’s “benchmark” handling detailed in new video

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BMW has released new images, a new video and fresh detail of its i4 electric sedan ahead of the car’s unveiling later this year.

The latest official shots of thinly disguised prototypes were taken as part of the brand’s final phase of dynamic testing of the model, which is closely linked in design to the yet-to-be-revealed 4 Series Gran Coupe.

BMW claims this fine-tuning will ensure “that the spontaneous power delivery of the electric motor is combined with precisely controllable handling in every situation, fascinating cornering dynamic, optimised traction in all weather and road conditions and perfectly balanced ride comfort”.

The i4 will get a specific damping system design to reduce “dipping movements of the body” under acceleration or braking. An “actuator-related wheel slip limitation” system aims to boost traction and stability, too.

The new model, due to go into production in the third quarter of this year before a market debut in early 2022, will be the German firm’s first electric saloon. Along with the regular 4 Series, the new EV has been previewed by various concepts and testing prototypes. BMW claims the i4 “heralds a new era of driving pleasure”, and will feature the firm’s “hallmark brand driving pleasure in a particularly concentrated form.”

BMW has also confirmed that the i4 will make use of its fifth-generation eDrive system, which is also being used on the iX3 and the new flagship iX SUV.

BMW claims the 390kW motors will allow for a 0-100km/h time of around four seconds. The firm says that output has been chosen to mirror the power of a V8 engine in current BMW models, and claims that it will offer “outstanding performance characteristics and exceptionally high efficiency”.

The latest eDrive system is built around a modular system featuring the electric motor, transmission and power electronics in a single housing, which BMW says means it can be used for a range of different models and power outputs. The i4 will feature an 80kWh high-voltage battery pack that weighs around 550kg and gives a claimed range of around 600 kilometres. The battery can be charged at rates of up to 150kW.

As shown in previous prototype shots, a clear visual link between the i4 and the latest 3 Series can be seen. The i4 will share much of its design with the upcoming second-generation 4 Series.

However, a side-on view reveals that the new car appears higher off the ground (both in terms of roof height and ground clearance) than the current 4 Series, likely due to a raised floor to accommodate the sizeable long-range battery.

The i4 is scheduled to be built on the same line as standard 3 Series and 4 Series models at BMW’s factory in Munich, Germany. To ensure a smooth production process with existing petrol, diesel and hybrid models, the manufacturer is already running assembly tests with pre-production versions.

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