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BMW announces another new electric car


BMW i4 concept

The ever-growing electric car market will get a BMW sedan added to the ranks by 2021.

With four doors, a flowing gran coupé body and 390kW, if you had to guess the engine, you'd imagine it carries one of the brand's loud and high-revving V8s – but it actually has a gently whirring electric motor under the bonnet. Here's everything you need to know about BMW's new all-electric car.

BMW i4 specs at a glance

Power: 390kW
Torque: Not listed
Battery: 80kWh, Lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 4 seconds
Top speed: 200km/h
Range: 600km

Heavily camouflaged BMW i4 during winter testing

BMW states it currently has the largest range of plug-in and electric vehicles, with the i4 set to augment a line-up of some 25 EV cars by 2023. The German luxury car maker is also keen to point out that it isn't compromising on driver satisfaction or handling in the process.

BMW eDrive: The heart of the i4

The foundation of the i4 is BMW's in-house developed eDrive technology. Broken down into its core elements, this includes brand-new electronics, dedicated charging systems, electric motors and a power rich battery cell. As the fifth generation of the company's modularised EV package, we should start to see it in production cars as early as next year, in the scheduled BMW iX3 and iNEXT SUVs.

The i4's low-lying battery cell

In conventional internal combustion cars, we place a lot of focus on the engine. For electric cars, obviously, the motor is important (incidentally, BMW says its next-gen motors no longer rely on rare earth materials for manufacturing). But unlike fossil fuel burning cars, the battery pack specs are also critical. Apparently, BMW has been able to get the weight down to a respectable 550kg, using a flat design to keep the centre of mass nearer the tarmac. The expected range is around 600 kilometres. For reference, a Tesla Model 3 boasts a claimed range of 620km.

You'll be able to restore 80% of battery capacity with BMW's own charger unit in only 35 minutes. That equates to around 6 minutes charging for 100 kilometres of range.

The i4 under-going winter testing

Interior details

Information about the interior is a little light. But BMW buyers obviously expect a certain level of refinement and style, which the automotive giant will be eager to satisfy. BMW described rear passenger entry and exit as good thanks to generous door proportions – but not much else.

You'd expect the car will also have advanced driver assists and safety features, but the company is remaining hush on the finer details, so we'll have to wait till nearer the launch date. Price and Australian availability are as yet unconfirmed.

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Picture: Supplied

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