Update 2/5/2019: Development of BMW’s all-electric i4 has shifted into high gear, with our spies nabbing a prototype for the first time on the road, as it was previously only been seen on a trailer. We have added the new photos in the gallery below.
These are the first spy shots of the upcoming 2021 BMW i4, which represents the German automaker’s next step in the i range and targets to give Tesla a genuine headache once it arrives in the market.
Perhaps the most surprising fact about the BMW i4 is the lack of a proper futuristic design, looking more like a 4-Series Gran Coupe and less like a four-door version of an i8.
That’s probably because BMW wanted the i4 to look more approachable to customers, since this will be one of the first i models that will actually rely on its commercial success.
With that said, the four-door coupe style of the 4-Series Gran Coupe is one of the most successful in the market, and this test car will definitely gain its own unique design cues, like bespoke front and rear fascias to appeal more on early EV adopters.
Things like a set of BMW i-specific kidneys for the front grille and unique door handles are just some of the expected design features. BMW has previously said that the i4 will draw inspiration from the i Vision Dynamics concept, which was revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The upcoming BMW i4 will ride on the company’s CLAR architecture, just like all BMW models from the 3-Series and above. Some reports say that it will be part of the overall 4-Series range, which will offer petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and of course all-electric powertrains.
The 2021 BMW i4 will offer a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive. The base version will have an electric motor mounted on the front driving the rear wheels through a fixed ratio transmission, targeting to offer a dynamic and pure BMW driving experience.
The more expensive, range-topping model will use two electric motors, each driving their respective axle. BMW’s target is for the i4 to offer a driving range of up to 435 miles (700km), as well as class-leading 0-62mph times.