German carmaker BMW has added another, slightly more affordable, i4 to its electric offerings.
Having entered the Australian market in the first months of 2022 in two variants, the eDrive40 and the M50, the all-electric i4 is fairly aimed at rivalling Tesla’s premium Model S sedan, with luxury trimmings and BMW engineering know-how.
Priced from $99,900 and $124,900 respectively in Australia, the i4 is likewise not in a high volume segment. Delivering 250kW and 430Nm torque in the eDrive40 format, and a hefty 400kW/795Nm torque in the range-topping M50, it has been priced from $US52,395 in North America which equates to $A74,712 at today’s rates.
After adding shipping and import costs, the new “entry-level” BMW i4 eDrive35 may – if it makes it to the local market – may be priced closer to a higher specced Performance Model 3.
This may make more sense to consumers: as reported by Giles Parkinson, it is not exactly spacious inside but delivers on power and with 400km promised from a full battery can safely avoid being classed as a short-range EV.
The BMW i4 eDrive35 has a smaller 66kWh battery than the upper range 80.9kh (usable) eDrive40. The rear-wheel drive EV comes with 210kW motor that delivers a maximum 400Nm torque, putting it between the 430i and 430d Gran Coupé with conventional drive for those that are au fait with BMW’s ICE offerings.
A smooth six second sprint from 0 to 100 km/hr and a top speed of 190 km/hr is more than enough for most: the basic i4 will initially only be offered in markets such as the USA, Canada and France which like Australia have speed limits on motorways.
Charging can be done at a top rate of 180kW, equalling 32 minutes from 10-805. On an AC charger at home, work or the shopping centre, the maximum charge rate is 11kW.
Just like the more powerful i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 models, the i4 eDrive35 will be built exclusively at BMW’s Munich plant. Thanks in part to the new entry-level model, electric cars will account for 50 percent of the units built at the BMW Group’s main plant by 2023.
On the outside, the BMW i4 eDrive35 does not differ from the previous entry-level model i4 eDrive40, and thanks to the standard curved display including iDrive 8 there are no relevant differences in the interior either.
There are currently no concrete plans to offer the BMW i4 eDrive35 in Australia, although it’s possible this could be considered if sufficient demand is expressed by customers.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.