2022 BMW i4 sedan normalizes brand’s electric vehicle lineup

BMW showed off the 2022 BMW i4 electric sport sedan alongside the iX electric crossover SUV on Wednesday. The Germany luxury brand promises up to 523 hp and a 300-mile range for its new sedan. 

Set to arrive in 2022, the i4 represents an evolution in the design of BMW's electric vehicle lineup, designated by the letter "i" before the number series.

The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe arrived for the 2014 model year. It flashed a futuristic wedge-shaped design with butterfly doors, flying buttresses at the rear, and a carbon-fiber body, but its $150,000 price couldn't justify its less than supercar performance; a turbo-3 engine and 11.6-kwh battery pack powered motors that made 369 hp, and enabled a 0-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds, but skinny tires meant it didn't have track capability. It was discontinued for 2021. 

BMW also discontinued the i3 that represented the other end of BMW's i spectrum. A pod-shaped hatchback with suicide rear doors and no post or B-pillar splitting the front doors from the rear doors, the i3 was a quirky eco car with excellent interior space. Made of mostly recycled materials, the i3 was practical but dull, and it lacked the performance element characteristic of BMW. 

The 2022 BMW i4 splits the difference of its i-predecessors and appears much less experimental than either of them. Based on the 4-Series Gran Coupe, which itself is based on the signature 3-Series, the i4 is a four-door sedan with a fast roofline. BMW didn't show the interior, but from the outside the i4 looks more familiar than different, including the giant beaver-teeth version of the brand's twin-kidney grille. Blue accents carry over from other electrified Bimmers. 

2022 BMW i4

2022 BMW i4

2022 BMW i4

2022 BMW i4

2022 BMW i4

2022 BMW i4

Much like the 4-Series and 3-Series, BMW will offer the i4 in multiple grades, topped by an M Performance model with 523 hp and a 300-mile range estimate. It will have a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system capable of going from 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds. A base model with rear-wheel drive is expected. 

To compete with the Tesla Model 3, BMW equips the i4 with its latest infotainment and technology. The quicker, cleaner iDrive 8 infotainment system operates through a 14.9-inch touchscreen beside a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The controller dial remains in the console, but BMW has added steering-wheel toggles to navigate through the screens while keeping hands on the wheel. Over-the-air updates can accommodate drive features as well as operating system upgrades. 

Specs, features, and the interior of the i4 are expected to be revealed in coming weeks, while pricing will be announced closer to the release date in early 2022. 

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