BMW just revealed the near-production version of its stunning new rose-gold electric sedan that will rival Tesla
- On Tuesday, BMW took the wraps off its fully electric i4 concept - it's the German brand's crack at a Tesla-rivaling luxury sedan.
- The car was supposed to debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, but it was canceled amid coronavirus concerns.
- The Concept i4 has 530 horsepower, an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles, and a 0-to-62-mph time of four seconds, BMW claims.
- BMW is set to start manufacturing the production version of the i4 at its Munich plant in 2021.
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BMW is better known for its sporty sedans and SUVs than its battery-powered offerings, but that may change come 2021 - the year that the just-revealed, fully electric BMW i4 is scheduled to begin production.
The production version of the i4 isn't out yet, but BMW debuted near-production concept model of the electric sedan on Tuesday to give people an idea of what it'll be like. The Concept i4 was slated to debut at the Geneva International Motor Show this week, but the show was canceled amid coronavirus concerns.
While electric and electrified BMWs aren't the norm, the company isn't a total newcomer to the market. Its quirky i3 hatchback and i8 sports car have been around for years, but their appeal has aged, making BMW in need of a new flagship.
The i4 - packing respectable power and range in a sleek package - may be the Tesla competitor BMW so desperately needs if it wants to stay relevant in a luxury market transitioning toward EVs. After all, the Tesla Model 3 outsold all other luxury cars in the US in 2018.
Learn more about the stunning, rose-gold i4 concept, BMW's best bet for taking hold of the luxury EV market, below.
On Tuesday, BMW took the wraps off of its i4 concept — a near-production version of the car that will eventually compete with Tesla in the luxury-EV space.
The car is part of BMW's plan to sell 25 electrified vehicle models by 2023.
According to BMW, the i4 concept puts up some numbers that should make it competitive in a market that Tesla has long dominated.
BMW says the i4 concept's electric motor puts out 530 horsepower ...
... sending the sedan to 62 mph in four seconds.
According to BMW, it also reaches a top speed of at least 124 mph ...
... and sports an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles from an 80-kWh battery pack. More generous estimates place the i4's range at 373 miles.
By the numbers, the Concept i4 beats the base-level Tesla Model 3 in most respects except for top speed. The base Model 3 boasts a 0-to-60 time of 5.3 seconds, a 250-mile range, and a top speed of 140 mph.
But those figures don't even begin to compete with Tesla's Model S, which offers an EPA-estimated 390-mile range and a claimed 0-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds in Long Range Plus guise — the cheaper of its two trims.
As for styling, the i4 concept looks a lot like BMWs on the road today, with angrier headlights and a larger, beaver-tooth grille.
Rather than sucking in air like it would in a traditional gas-powered car, the faux grille houses various sensors — including radar and cameras, presumably.
BMW says vertical air channels, along with diffusers where an exhaust exit would normally be, improve aerodynamics.
Exclusive wheels also increase the sedan's slipperiness and optimize range, BMW says.
Not to mention, BMW is debuting a new logo with the i4 concept. The redesigned badge has a transparent outer ring.
The sleek interior of the Concept i4 matches its futuristic exterior.
In lieu of gauges and an infotainment screen, there's a single, ultra-wide display that's curved toward the driver.
And by adding lots of functions — including climate control — into the infotainment system, BMW was able to do away with many traditional buttons to give the interior a more minimalist look.
Ambient lighting in the cabin changes colors when drivers toggle between three driving modes: core, sport, and efficient.
The BMW Concept i4 also produces different sounds depending on the driving mode that's selected, and all sounds were developed by composer Hans Zimmer.
Production of the i4 is set to start in 2021 at BMW's Munich plant. Pricing wasn't announced, but BMW said it would invest roughly $224 million into the plant in order to produce the i4.
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