Electric BMW i4 seems headed to Geneva as a thinly veiled concept

Ronan Glon



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The star of BMW's booth at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show will reportedly be a close-to-production concept built to preview an upcoming electric car. Tentatively named i4, it will fall in the same price bracket as the Tesla Model 3.

We expected the German firm would travel to Geneva in March with the next-generation 4 Series coupe in tow, but enthusiast website BMW Blog learned from sources close to the carmaker that the i4 will represent Munich at the show. The sedan we'll see in Switzerland won't be identical to the one scheduled to appear in showrooms for the 2021 model year, but it will be darn close. Like many concepts, it will wear cameras integrated into thin pods instead of conventional mirrors (a feature that's still illegal in the United States), specific bumpers on both ends, oversized alloy wheels, and it won't have door handles for a sleeker and infinitely less practical appearance.

Analyzing how the Concept X2 introduced in 2016 morphed into the X2 provides an accurate idea of what to expect from the Geneva-bound i4 concept. Photos of a camouflaged test mule going sideways somewhere far north of the Arctic Circle also shed light on BMW's next electric car, and we already know its basic specifications.

Power will come from the company's fifth-generation electric drivetrain, which consists of a 1,212-pound, 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack linked to either a single motor for rear-wheel drive, or two motors for through-the-road all-wheel drive. The i4 will offer 530 horsepower in its most potent configuration, though its torque output remains under wraps, and it promises over 300 miles of driving range. It will perform the benchmark zero-to-60-mph sprint in about 4 seconds, a figure which puts it on par with a six-cylinder-powered 3 Series.

BMW hasn't confirmed its plans for the 2020 Geneva show yet, so it's too early to tell for sure whether we'll see the i4, the 4 Series, or both basking under the bright lights. If the report is accurate, the i4 will join the iX3 crossover in showrooms in time for the 2021 model year, and its base price will fall in the vicinity of $40,000. As for the next-generation 4 Series, it could appear at the 2020 New York show in late April if it indeed sits out Geneva.

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