The four-door Gran Coupe blends elegance, sporty design and spaciousness (did we mention flared nostrils/kidneys?) with an 80kW motor – capable of a top speed over 200 km/h.
The car is recognizably BMW, as their new approach to the front shows off those massive kidneys – that are actually intelligent panels. It will be practical with 4-doors and plenty of space, and according to them it will have a much larger interior.
Taking note from the iNEXT, the color of choice for the reveal is the ‘Frozen Light Copper’. Maintaining with the BMW I origins, the car features blue elements on the flanks, front and rear ends.
The wheel rims, designed exclusively for this concept, are lightweight and aerodynamic.
The front end is definitely eye catching. Seriously, we cannot get over the kidneys. We were asking ourselves why oh why would you need them since the car doesn’t need cooling. Well, they are now packed with an ‘intelligent panel’ housing the sensors that support the vehicle.
New Brand Identity
The car is the first to host the new BMW brand identity, so it’s a reveal within a reveal. The new logo for communications also provides the basis for the badge on the BMW Concept i4.
Subtle classy interior
The interior is designed specifically with the driver in focus. The new BMW Curved Display teams up with the steering wheel to reveal a new take on driver orientation and offers a look ahead to the display in the production versions of the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. The information and control displays intergrate into a single unit inclined towards the driver.
The BMW Curved Display encompasses a large proportion of the section in front of the driver and above the center stack. Pretty much all the functions are integrated into the display, even the climate controls have gone touch control.
Spacious rear compartment
There’ll be plenty of room for the rear-seat passengers, as the headroom and legroom exceed coupe vehicle expectations. The headrests have a sporty look as they have a cut-out referencing BMW sporty models from the current line-up.
As with many other future vehicles, the outer rear seats reflect the front dynamic form of the front seats. Minimal visible stitching also shows off a clean finish and modern feel.
Three ‘Experience Modes’
There are three experience modes available for the driver to connect with the vehicle. Not only does it affect the driving dynamics, but also the visual elements. For example, ambient lighting in and around the car change to indicate the technical adjustments taking place.
“Core” mode introduces the driver’s area to an updated interpretation of the four “widgets” familiar from the display concept of existing models. Here, the graphics reprise the pattern above the air vents and the Gold Bronze accent colour, consciously referencing the car’s interior design. In the area where the central display used to be positioned, a map and widgets now line up alongside one another. The user can navigate around the diagonal widgets using a swipe movement and arrange them intuitively by drag-and-drop. This allows them to adapt the display to their personal preferences.
In “Sport” mode, the “widgets” come closer together and create a focused view. Sideways movements behind the zones are used to show how tight the next corner is, facilitating anticipatory driving. This form of content presentation also allows effective peripheral viewing. The right-hand area of the display shows specific functions in a similar way to BMW M’s lap timer app.
“Efficient” mode debuts an “Assisted Driving View”, which shows the driver what the car’s sensors are detecting. This Experience Mode opens up deeper insights into the car’s technology, such as how it communicates with its surroundings. In the BMW Concept i4, the focus here is on anticipatory and efficient driving, and key information for efficient driving is incorporated. The right-hand area of the display shows additional vehicle information, such as the charge level and range.
Across all three modes, BMW have introduced BMW IconicSounds Electric where the company aims to emotionalise their electric vehicles and make them audible using individual sound worlds.
Tech under the hood
The electric motor developed for the BMW i4 generates maximum output of up to 390 kW/530 hp, which ranks it alongside a current BMW V8 combustion engine.
Weighing at roughly half a ton, the fifth generation of BMW eDrive developed for the BMW i4 has an energy content of around 80 kWh and achieves an operating range of up to 600 km in the WLTP cycle (more like 400km in the real world).
Series production of the new BMW i4 will begin in 2021 at the BMW Group’s main plant in Munich.