The 2022 BMW i4 has been officially revealed and it will come in two flavors including the first battery-electric vehicle to wear an M badge. Thanks to the battery mounted under the floor, the i4’s center of gravity is 1.4- to 2.1 inches lower than the 3 Series depending on the version.
In terms of design, the 2021 BMW i4 hasn’t changed much on its journey from concept to production. It looks like an all-electric 4 Series Gran Coupe complete with BMW’s massive corporate grille only this time it’s been closed off. The i4 M50 is distinguished as the sportier model with its unique U-shaped lower front bumper, additional side air intakes for extra brake cooling, a rear spoiler, and Cerium Grey side mirror covers.
Moving inside, the i4 is one of the first BMW models to get the iDrive 8.0 interface with the curved display, built-in digital personal assistant, and over-the-air update capability. Housed inside the single glass panel are a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch main touch screen that can also be controlled via a set of haptic feedback buttons and a knob. Standard sport seats, an acoustic windshield, a massive sunroof, interior ambient lighting, and automatic climate control with a nanofiber filter round out the list of convenience features. A 16-speaker, 464-watt Harman Kardon audio system, and a head-up display are available as options. As with most EVs, the BMW i4 makes a pedestrian noise that changes based on your drive mode.
BMW made sustainability a key factor in building their EVs. As a result, the i4’s batteries contain 10 percent less cobalt, and the lithium being used is obtained from Australia via transparent conditions that the company monitors. The extraction of raw materials is also observed to make sure they’re done sustainably and don’t violate human rights. BMW’s electric motors no longer use rare earth materials and primary aluminum to cut emissions, especially from manufacturing the latter. Instead, secondary aluminum and recycled materials are used extensively throughout the i4.
To make the entire vehicle more rigid, the 2022 BMW i4’s battery is mounted, joined, and enclosed to the floor. It is also connected to the front axle subframe. A bracing package further enhances rear body rigidity by combining an aluminum shear panel with the battery housing, forming a load-bearing structure. The i4 M50 adds additional bracing between the two strut towers for improved steering precision. Most of the suspension components are made of aluminum to reduce weight and improve shock response on poorly maintained roads. Axle kinematics, track width, and camber have all been configured for increased steering precision and lateral force absorption. The i4 M50 adds an elastic bearing on the front axle subframe for added isolation.
To further distinguish thei4 M50 as the performance model, it gets the adaptive M suspension with specially-tuned springs, shocks, anti-roll bars, an extra front strut tower brace, and variable sport steering (optional on the i4 eDrive40) as standard. You also get lightweight M alloy wheels up to 20 inches in diameters, staggered tires, and M Sport brakes. Thanks to its dual-motor setup, the i4 M50 effectively gets AWD. It precisely puts the power down as needed to maximize traction or only use the rear motor for optimum efficiency. The front electric motor can also add power in response to wheel slip or high lateral acceleration, allowing it to optimize the car’s driving dynamics and directional stability.
A near-actuator wheel slip limitation system optimizes straight-line traction and biases power distribution to the rear wheels. Both i4 variants also get a rear air suspension to keep the car at a constant ride height when carrying heavy loads. The air suspension can also improve ride comfort or sharpen the i4’s handling by minimizing pitch and roll.
Every i4 gets adaptive brake energy regeneration at a rate of 195 kW for the M50 and 116 kW for the eDrive40. This allows the car to start recuperation before reaching turns, junctions, traffic lights, and areas with lower speed limits. A coasting function uses navigation data to determine where to disconnect the powertrain or when the driver eases off the accelerator. B mode allows for maximum regeneration and one-pedal driving at city speeds. An electric actuator triggers the required brake pressure and provides a consistent pedal feel without any pulsing during wet conditions, high brake temperatures, or high lateral acceleration.
If you’re looking for the most power, the i4 M50 is the one for you. Between its two electric motors, it makes 536 hp and 586 lb-ft. The i4 eDrive40, on the other hand, makes 335 hp and 317 lb-ft from its single rear-mounted electric motor. An overboost function gives you full power for over 10 seconds and can be activated multiple times in a row as long as the 83.9-kWh lithium-ion battery has enough charge. The i4 eDrive40 can travel up to 300 miles on a charge while the i4 M50 is good for 245 miles.
An integrated heating and cooling system for the cabin operates together with a heat pump for the powertrain that’s 75 percent more efficient than the one found in the i3 It uses three interconnected heating/cooling circuits and a shared expansion tank. Excess heat from the drive unit is used to warm up the battery. Two continuous-flow heaters that offer up to 9 kW of power each complement the heat pump at low temperatures. The integrated heating and cooling system can also precondition the battery for DC charging or driving situations that require high power.
Using a level 3 DC charger, that 2022 BMW i4 can charge at a peak rate of 200 kW. This allows the car to regain 90 miles of range in 10 minutes. A level 2 AC charger maxes out at 11 kW, enabling the i4 to recharge to 100 percent from empty in 8.0 hours. BMW has partnered with EVgo to give i4 drivers access to charging stations powered by renewable energy. Buyers and lessees of qualifying all-electric BMW vehicles will also get a $100 credit for EVgo and its partner charging networks in all 50 states.
A full suite of driver assistance features is offered on the 2022 BMW i4. The Driving Assistant, which is standard bundles together blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, front automatic emergency braking, cyclist detection, and lane departure warning. The Driving Assistance Professional package adds lane centering, evasive assist, and allows adaptive cruise control to use navigation data to predict the next move the driver needs to make.
When it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2022, the BMW i4 will start at $56,395 for the eDrive40 and $66,895 for the more powerful M50 model.