Several automakers are planning to field battery-electric sedans in the next two years، and BMW's version will be called the i4. Set to go on sale in 2021، prototypes are currently undergoing testing in Sweden، near the Arctic Circle.
The i4 will be a coupe-shaped four-door sedan، akin to a 4-Series Gran Coupe، boasting a range of over 600 kilometers (373 miles) on a full charge and a 0-62-mph sprint time of four seconds. The i4 will set its sights on the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen's upcoming electric sedan when it goes on sale، among others، but for now it is being run though a series of tests meant to push its mechanical components to the limit.
"Within the framework of comprehensive vehicle testing، their drive and suspension components are being put to the test under extreme weather and road conditions،" BMW said. "The testing area situated at the edge of the Arctic Circle provides the ideal requirements for this purpose. On the icy surfaces of frozen lakes، on snow and in the bitter cold، the electric motors، the high-voltage batteries and the power electronics of BMW eDrive technology، as well as the suspension control systems، are demonstrating their high level of performance and reliability."
What can we glean from these prototype images? It is evident BMW wants the i4 to feature relatively conventional styling، helping to sell it to traditional car buyers who may not have been shopping for an EV from the start. While adventurous، futuristic design has helped BMW launch its hybrid and EV lineup، including the i3 an the i8، the second major stage of the experiment will offer fairly conventional designs، meant to appeal to a broader audience.