BMW Expands i4 Lineup With the Affordable eDrive35
Instead of coming out with affordable all-electric sedans, automakers went from pricey electric sedans straight to even more expensive SUVs. While Tesla was promising an affordable $35,000 Model 3, that vehicle was never advertised on the website and was only available to a few shoppers for a short period of time. Consumers looking for an affordable electric sedan don't have a lot of options to choose from. BMW's finally given shoppers another option to consider with the introduction of the new entry-level i4 eDrive35.
A New Entry-Level i4
The Model 3 and Polestar 2 are some of the most affordable electric sedans on sale. The Polestar 2 is priced at $49,800 (with destination), while the Model 3 starts at $49,690. These aren't exactly affordable, but they're far cheaper than the current crop of luxury SUVs. BMW is looking to enter into the somewhat affordable fold of electric sedans with the new i4 eDrive35.
The i4 eDrive35 becomes BMW's most affordable model in its sedan lineup, slotting below the eDrive40 and M50. Just like the eDrive40, the eDrive35 comes with a single electric motor on the rear wheels, which means all-wheel drive isn't available – at least not at the moment. With one electric motor at the back, the eDrive35 is rated at 281 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This is a large difference from the eDrive40 that makes 335 hp and the M50 that produces 536 hp.
Despite coming with a lot less power, the eDrive35 doesn't trail the eDrive40 by a wide margin to 60 mph. The eDrive35 can get to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, while the eDrive40 can complete the sprint in 5.5 seconds. With the eDrive40 being far quicker than its claimed time in the real world, we expect the eDrive35 to be much quicker in real-world testing, too.
Affordable i4 Is Compelling
Understandably, the eDrive35 not only comes with less power than the other i4 models, but it also has less range. The new sedan comes with a 70.2-kWh battery pack that has a usable capacity of 66 kWh. That battery pack results in an estimated range of 260 miles on a single charge. That's less than the eDrive40 (301 miles), but more than the M50 (227 miles) that both come with an 81.5-kWh battery pack.
While the eDrive40 and M50 can charge at a max rate of 200 kW, the maximum charging rate for the eDrive35 is 180 kW. At this rate, the battery eDrive35 will be able to get from 10 percent to 80 percent in 32 minutes. While that's not as good as the more expensive models, it's still impressive for the i4.
The i4 eDrive35 certainly sounds like it fills the entry-level spot in the i4 lineup to a T with its specs. BMW has also priced the eDrive35 accordingly, as the sedan will start at $52,395 (with destination). That makes it more affordable than the eDrive40 that costs $56,895 and M50 that's priced at $68,295. Against more affordable competitors from Polestar and Tesla, the i4 eDrive35 is slightly more expensive, though it's competitive on the range front. BMW should begin delivering the new model in early 2023.
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