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Here's the Latest Update on Electric BMW i4

 Here's the Latest Update on Electric BMW i4

Author: Manish Kharinta   

New spy shots of BMW's upcoming electric sedan have surfaced online this week and the extensively cladded prototype doesn't seem as quirky and alien as the concept that spawned it.

The BMW i4 electric concept is a very futuristic design to say the least. The i4 is peppered with unconventional, albeit striking styling cues. But like many other concepts, we were unsure of how much of it will eventually end up the final product.

The leaked images show the interior of BMW's upcoming electric car, which looks just as conventional as the exterior of the current gas-powered 3-Series. Frankly, it's all a bit disappointing.

Unlike the boxy BMW i3 electric vehicle, which even after years of commission has one of the most exotic interiors found in an EV today, the cabin of i4 looks like something BMW sourced from any of its other internal combustion engine sedans.

A spy shot of the BMW i4's interior.

Even though most of the interior remains covered, we do get a clear view of the gear shift, climate controls and the infotainment system, all of which seems pretty conventionally positioned. This design approach by BMW might be the automaker's strategy to appeal to buyers looking for a more traditional, user-friendly interface over futuristic driver controls.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to build an EV for the everyman, but there has been a shift in the paradigm ever since companies like Tesla proved that quirky,  innovative, and minimalistic design garners substantial interest from potential electric car buyers.

The exterior of the i4 is quite reminiscent to that of the 4-Series Gran Coupe. Speculations suggest that BMW might be saving its more exotic and futuristic designs for vehicles equipped with level 3 autonomous capabilities, like the upcoming BMW iNEXT.

The BMW i4 will be based on BMW's Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform, which is designed to be compatible with plug-in hybrid, pure-electric and conventional powertrains. BMW will likely offer the i4 with either a 60 or 80 kWh battery pack and a 48 volt electrical system.

The German automaker also confirmed that the electric i4 will be available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive setups. BMW said the i4 will offer an impressive range of around 372 miles (600 kilometers) and will be capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds.

The i4 is slated to enter production in 2021. To make sure that goes off without a hitch, BMW is carrying out a $320 million upgrade to its assembly plant in Munich, where the i4 will be built.

Manish Kharinta
Manish Kharinta
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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