BMW confirms two new electric cars for launch in 2021
- BMW announces new iX and i4 model lines
- Two variants of the iX to be made available with a range of up to 380 miles
- Three versions of the i4 will be produced, BMW’s first all-electric premium car
BMW’s electrification plans will accelerate in the final quarter of 2021, after confirming two new models to go on sale in November.
The BMW iX is the brand’s first electric offering in it’s ‘X’ SUV category, and will have a range of 380 miles on a single charge, and priced just short of £70,000.
Meanwhile, the launch of the sporty i4 was also confirmed, a gran coupé with around 540hp and a range of 367 miles, with a price tag of £51,905.
BMW says that the iX will represent the pinnacle of the BMW Group electrification strategy and is the first model to be based on a new platform on which the future of the BMW group will be built.
Two variants of the iX will be made available, the xDrive50 with 523hp and the 380 mile range, as well as the xDrive40 which will produce 326hp with a range of 257 miles. Both variants come with an all-wheel-drive system, and are the first such vehicles to be produced by BMW.
The xDrive50 battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in 35 minutes, while the xDrive40 is slightly quicker at 31 minutes.
Sport and M Sport versions will be available for both models and will feature as standard, 21-inch alloy wheels, Driving Assist Professional, Parking Assist, BMWs Live Cockpit, four-zone air conditioning, heated front seats and wireless phone charging.
A third variant, the iX M60 will join the range at a later date with an expected output in excess of 600hp.
The i4 will put ‘all-electric mobility at the very heart of the BMW brand.’ The first all-electric premium car from the brand is aimed at its traditional core of the midsize segment.
Its 367-mile range will come thanks to efficient drive system technology and a lightweight design that will ensure the car has ‘exhilarating driving dynamics’ without the need for large and heavy batteries.
The four-door gran coupé style machine will have three variants, including the first ever BMW M car with all-electric drive. The performance model, the i4 M50 will be equipped with electric motors at both the front and rear axles with a combined maximum output of 544hp and a range of 316 miles, despite its sporty underpinnings.
The slightly tamer i4 eDrive40 Sport and M Sport models will have a 340hp electric motor and rear wheel drive, with a top range of 367 miles.
A simple 10 minute charge will give the lower spec model a 102 mile range, while the M50 model will go for 87 miles.
Like the iX range, an impressive range of standard features will feature across the i4 variants including 18-inch alloy wheels, live cockpit, reversing camera, parking assistant, automatic air conditioning, ambient lighting and LED lights.
The eDrive40 is the most reasonably priced at £51,905 while the M50 is yours for £63,905.
A 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.7 seconds is estimated for the eDrive40, and the M50 will hit that in just under four seconds, on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 140mph.
The i4 should feel like a proper BMW too, especially the M50 which comes with adapted suspension, custom anti-roll bars and larger brakes. The centre of gravity will also be 34mm lower (M50) or 53mm (eDrive 40 Sport and M Sport) than on a standard 3 Series saloon, so expect an improved handling experience.
Both the iX and i4 will be built in factories that also produce combustion-engined cars and hybrids, with the iX production line in Lower Bavaria to be the first facility in the BMW network to produce all-electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion-engine models on a single assembly line.
Richard Randle is a motorsport PR professional working with the UK’s top racing circuits and the UK’s premier single-seater category, the BRDC British F3 Championship.