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BMW i4

First Look: BMW Adds Cheaper i4 eDrive35 for 2023

Less power and less range, but less dough too

  • The eDrive35 is the newest addition to the i4 model range.
  • It will serve as the base model i4 starting in 2023.
  • It has less power and less range, but it also costs less, too.

The BMW i4 has been limited to just two different trims for most of its life. But for 2023, the top-of-the-line i4 M50 and the i4 eDrive40 will be joined by a new model, the base eDrive35. The smaller number after BMW's bewildering naming scheme naturally suggests less power, but it also means that buyers will enjoy a lower price of entry for BMW's Tesla Model 3 competitor.

BMW i4

That lower price will likely be the most interesting part of the new i4. It will start at $52,395 after BMW's $995 destination charge is applied. That's $4,500 less than the starting price of the eDrive40 model that starts at $56,895. BMW's consumer site also still notes that the i4 is still eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, and factoring that into base price of BMW's new entry-level i4 brings its price below the $48,440 base price of a Tesla Model 3.

But that lower price also means less power and performance. So, how much less power, you might be wondering. Well, quite a bit less as it turns out, but torque stays relatively stout. The eDrive40 model makes 355 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. The new-for-2023 eDrive35 model has a single, rear-axle-mounted motor that makes 281 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The new figures represent dips of 74 hp and 22 lb-ft. BMW notes that these power and torque figures are still preliminary and that means they could change by the time the eDrive35 hits dealerships in the first part of 2023.

BMW i4

The single electric motor draws from a floor-mounted 66-kWh battery. That's way down from the 81.5-kWh battery that other versions of the i4 use, and it explains the power difference between the two models. It also means that the eDrive35 model will have less range than eDrive40 model, but BMW's estimate of 260 miles on a single charge with the standard 18-inch wheels is still plenty usable for most commuters.

The base model i4 still comes with the same tech as the bigger-battery models too. You still get a massive curved screen that sits above the dashboard that houses a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment display behind a single piece of glass. BMW's eighth generation of iDrive powers the infotainment, and BMW said the eDrive35 model will also benefit from its connected driver services and over-the-air updates.

BMW i4

It's worth noting that the BMW i40 M50 model we tested handily exceeded its range figure, and if you want to read more about how the Bimmer performed, you can check out that test here. For now, it's exciting to see BMW expand its model range and appeal to more price-conscious consumers.

Edmunds says

Will the new, cheaper eDrive35 model repeat its M-badged sibling's success on the range front? We'll find out as soon as we subject one to our own instrumented testing.