BMW i4 EV Profile

September 09, 2022
EV Universe
EV Universe

Welcome to our BMW i4 EV profile!


The BMW i4 is a battery-electric compact executive car that’s marketed as a four-door coupe, although it’s actually a five-door liftback. It debuted as a concept vehicle at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and has been in production since 2021, beginning with the 2022 model year. Two variants of the BMW i4 exist, with performance being the primary differentiator.


BMW i4 Overview

The i4 is similar in appearance to the Gran Coupe, a member of BMW’s 4-series of cars with fueled engines. Its closest competitors include the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3 battery-electric vehicles.


The base model of the i4 is the eDrive40, which has a single electrical motor mounted in the rear that generates 335 horsepower (hp) with rear-wheel drive (RWD). The M50 model adds another motor in the front, which increases the total power output to 536 hp with all-wheel-drive (AWD).


Here’s a YouTube video of our 2022 BMW i4 M50 walkaround:



BMW i4 EVU Hot Take



  • BMW quality, high end finishes and a great place to spend your time
  • Quiet-good use of sound deadening materials and technology
  • Better than EPA rated range in our testing



  • Controls feel unnecessarily complicated
  • No frunk


BMW i4 Versions

The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for the eDrive40 is $56,395, while the M50 retails for $66,895. Most buyers will consider the M50 to be worth the extra $10k, due to its greater performance.


In addition to the increase in power, the M50 has sport-tuned suspension and upgraded brakes. It also has an option for 20-inch tires that are wider and stickier than the standard 19-inch tires. The 20-inch tires reduce the M50’s driving range significantly, from 270 miles down to an EPA rated 227.


Interior options on the M50 include the Premium package. This adds seats with lumbar support, heated seats and steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting. Individual options include the following:


  • Vernasca leather interior
  • Harman Kardon sound system
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • Wireless charging


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BMW i4 Exterior EVU


BMW i4 Exterior

The BMW i4’s body is based on BMW’s modular CLAR platform, which reduces costs and allows high-volume production. It has the shell of the G26 4 Series Gran Coupe, although BMW considers the i4 to be a battery-powered version of the G20 3 Series. The front tracks of the i4 are an inch wider than the G20 3 Series, while the rear tracks are a half inch wider.


The underbody of the i4 is almost completely flat, resulting in high aerodynamic efficiency. The drag coefficient of this series is 0.24 for the eDrive40 and 0.25 for the M50. The weight distribution of the eDrive40 is 45:55, as compared to 48:52 for the M50.


Distinctive exterior features of the i4 include an air flap control at the bottom of the front grille, which the driver can control with 10 settings. This feature delivers cooling air in precise quantities to components such as the air conditioning system, battery, brakes and powertrain. Full LED lights for the headlights and taillights are standard, but the headlights can be upgraded to provide the BMW Laserlight and Selective Beam functions.


BMW i4 Interior EVU


BMW i4 Interior

The BMW i4 has a rich interior, with options for white leather upholstery, rose gold trim and light wood trim. It’s generally similar to the interior of other current BMW models, with the exception of the large, seamless display that also appears in BMW’s iX SUV.


In the case of the i4, the display spans nearly two-thirds of the dashboard. The standard sound system has 10 speakers and a 205-watt amplifier, while the optional Harman Kardon system has 16 speakers and a seven-channel digital amplifier.

The i4 is equipped with iDrive 8, BMW’s latest infotainment system. It includes a 14.9-inch touchscreen integrated with this model’s 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, which is a large curved display on the dashboard.


A rotary controller on the center console provides the physical controls, but voice commands are also available. Some of iDrive 8’s many popular features include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a Wi-Fi hotspot.


Standard interior features for the i4 also include a steering wheel with multi-function buttons, sports seats and a driver-operated tailgate. The three-zone climate control system has pre-heating and cooling functions, and heated, ventilated seats are optional.


BMW i4 Powertrain

The packaging of the powertrain is a notable feature of the i4. The motor, electronics and transmission are contained in a single assembly, which increases the energy conversion efficiency.


The motors are located in the axles, which also house a single-speed transmission. While the M50 has two motors, it normally runs in RWD mode to conserve energy. However, the front motor activates when the front tires need more power.


BMW i4 Dash EVU


BMW i4 Battery

The battery of the i4 is located in the floor pan, giving it a low center of gravity that improves handling. The eDrive40’s center of gravity is 2.1 inches lower than the G20 3 Series, while the M50’s center of gravity is 1.3 inches lower. The low position of the battery also improves the i40’s structural strength, according to BMW.


The primary enclosure of the battery assembly is directly connected to the front axle’s subframe, and the battery pack is bolted to the floor. Some of the battery assembly is housed in the central tunnel that would otherwise contain the driveshaft. All motors for the i4 have a battery pack with a maximum capacity of 80.7 kilo-watt hours (kWh).


The battery supports fast DC charging up to 200 kW, meaning the battery pack can be charged to 80 capacity in 31 minutes. In 10 minutes, this rate is sufficient to add 102 miles to the eDrive40’s range, and 87 miles to the M50. The Level 2 wall box provides 11 kW of AC charging capability, which completely recharges the battery in less than eight hours.


The i4’s integrated heating and cooling system takes a variety of factors into account when warming the battery to its ideal charging temperature. These factors include the ambient temperature and the option for a fast-charging session in the middle of a journey.


Without these features, the battery charging rate could be as low as 75 kW in cold weather. The charging system then automatically adjusts the battery temperature with high-efficiency pumps that increase the vehicle’s battery efficiency by up to 31 percent in heavy traffic.


Learn more about charging EVs. Podcast Here


BMW i4 Performance

The eDrive40 reaches 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has a ¼-mile time of 13.6 seconds. The M50 delivers power forcefully and immediately, as you would expect of an electric vehicle.


It has better performance than the equivalent M3 with RWD, even though it weighs considerably more. The M50 reached 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and has a ¼-mile time of 11.7 seconds in multiple tests, significantly better than the claimed times from BMW.


BMW i4 Handling and Braking

The suspension system of the eDrive40 consists of a MacPherson strut in the front and a multi-link air suspension in the rear. It comes to a stop in 169 feet from 70 mph and has a lateral acceleration of 0.87 g. The M50 adds adaptive M dampers that reduce dipping movements while accelerating and braking.


The M50 also has an actuator-related wheel slip limitation system and lower center of gravity that improves handling, traction and stability. It has a lateral acceleration of 0.97 g and comes to a stop in 154 feet from 70 mph.


The BMW i4 has regenerative braking, in which power is redirected from the motor to charge the battery during initial braking. The maximum energy recovery rate during regenerative braking is 116 kW for the eDrive40 and 195 kW for the M50.


The i4 also features four levels of regenerative braking, including one for one-pedal driving. Another mode adjusts the degree of regenerative braking based on driver-assistance functions and GPS data.


BMW i4 Fuel Economy

It’s easy to determine the fuel economy of a fuel-powered vehicle by simply measuring the amount of fuel it needs to travel a specific distance. You can’t do this directly with electric cars, but you can do so indirectly by comparing the energy content of electricity and fuel.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided in the early 2000s that 33.7 kWh of electricity is comparable to a gallon of fuel when it set the standard for Miles Per Gallon equivalent (MPGe) in the early 2000s. In this model, a car that requires 33.7 kWh to travel 100 miles has an MPGe of 100.


The most efficient BMW i4 is the eDrive40 with its standard 18-inch tires, which has an estimated fuel economy of 109 MPGe in the city and 108 MPGe on the highway. The EPA estimates this vehicle has a maximum range of 282 miles on the highway.


Models with wider tires or a second motor will have lower efficiency. A real-world highway test showed the actual range to be 280 miles, only two miles less than the EPA’s estimate.


BMW i4 Rear EVU


BMW i4 Safety

The BMW i4 has a number of advanced safety features, including driver-assistance technology. These include forward-collision warnings, lane-departure warnings and lane-keeping assistance as standard features. Optional safety features of the i4 include automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control based on stop-and-go technology.


BMW i4 Environment

The BMW i4’s all-electric design provides multiple environmental benefits over comparable vehicles with fueled engines. For example, BMW predicts the global warming potential of the eDrive40 will be 45 percent less than that of the similar diesel G20 3 and G22 4 series over a typical ownership period of 125,000 miles.


BMW also increased the sustainability of the i4’s supply chain and its use of recycled materials. These measures reduced the emission of carbon gases during production by 18 percent. The i4 design minimizes use of rare earth metals in the battery and motor. The battery uses two-thirds less cobalt than earlier designs, while the motor contains no rare-earth metals at all.


BMW i4 Warranties

The warranties on the BMW i4 are competitive, especially when it comes to their coverage period. For example, the limited warranty lasts for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The high-voltage battery coverage lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles, and the maintenance covers the first three years or 36,000 miles.


BMW i4 Maintenance

The recommended service is very limited, including only a vehicle check, replacement of the cabin filter, brake fluid change, and replacement the remote control key battery at 24, 48, and 72 months, regardless of mileage.


We hope you found this guide on the BMW i4 electric vehicle profile to be helpful. Feel free to reach out to our experts at EV Universe if you have follow-up questions!



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