BMW's first foray into the electrified future was the diminutive and innovative i3 that came out for the 2014 model year. Now it's readying what you might consider to be its successor: the 2022 BMW i4.
2022 BMW i4
The BMW i4 comes in two versions: eDrive40 and M50. The eDrive40 is equipped with a single rear-mounted electric motor that delivers 335 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. BMW says that the i4 in this base configuration can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in a respectably quick 5.7 seconds. Also included are 18-inch wheels and a rear air suspension for keeping the vehicle level when heavy gear is loaded into the back.
Both i4 versions employ a battery pack with 81.5 kWh of usable capacity. BMW estimates that this will be good for 300 miles on a full battery charge in the rear-drive eDrive40 configuration. That figure decreases to 240 miles in the sportier M50.
The interior design is similar to what you'll find in other recent BMW models and less radical than the i3's. For example, while the i3 had a rocker switch near the steering wheel to engage Drive and Reverse, the i4 has a traditional shift lever on the center console. Surrounding it are a number of physical controls for vehicle drive modes, often-used driver assist systems and the infotainment system. Sandwiched between the control panel and the giant touchscreen (more on that below) are a volume knob and smattering of media buttons.
Flaunting a curved dashboard topped by a huge digital display, the i4 is looking to start at the head of the pack when it comes to technology. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch touchscreen are joined within the housing that BMW calls the Curved Display. Though there is a clear demarcation zone between the two panels, the overall illusion is of a single, massive widescreen display. Besides being visually impressive, the large-format screens are highly useful and configurable.
It's been a long time coming for a next-generation electric vehicle from BMW. We're still fans of the i3, and this new 2022 BMW i4 should have even greater appeal. It should be a compelling rival to the Tesla Model 3, especially if you're looking for an EV with a premium interior and sport sedan-worthy performance.