The new BMW i4 and iX have some secrets. Together with other journalists from Europe, I “untied” the brand’s experts in a Q&A session, and here’s what I found out.
Beyond what the press releases tell us, there is some lesser known information about the two models. Here they are below!
The BMW i4 and iX have brand new platforms
The most important thing is that the platforms of the new models are completely new. That is, we have no adaptations of the CLAR architectures used in the 4 and X5 Series. This, although many of us believe that they are common platforms with conventional models. It is a platform developed especially for electric models, and not an adapted one. This, although the name, which remained clear, could be misleading.
None of BMW’s existing platforms can accommodate the fifth generation of electric propulsion, so a new one was needed. The batteries located on the floor are only 110 mm high, but even so, they would not fit in conventional platforms. Being so short, the batteries allowed a 4-door coupe as dynamic as the i4. In his case, the cells were arranged everywhere it took place, including under the center console. Thus, a range of up to 585 km was obtained.
Currently, the architecture is on 400 V. One on 800 V is not yet justified, as on Taycan and Kia EV6, but the Germans are studying the hypothesis.
There will be an M version for i4
That’s what BMW officials told us. BMW has a clear strategy for conventional models. There are versions for “good” customers, M Performance versions for those with sports aspirations and an M version. The same approach will be applied to i4. We will, however, receive details about the M version at the right time. The important thing is that “BMW is open to such a version”.
Without Superchargere’s own network, like Tesla
BMW will not develop its own network of fast chargers. He’s already putting his shoulder to the Ionity network, and that’s enough. Both models, BMW i4 and iX, will charge standard at 11 kW AC outlets. In the future we can also expect charging with 22 kW at alternating current. At direct current, both models “pull” 200 kW in one hour, so it gains 150 km of autonomy in 10 minutes when plugged in.
➡ And yet, there are not many charging stations 💡
And, speaking of charging, the energy recovered at deceleration, in the case of the i4 M50, reaches 195 kW. There are already 400,000 fast charge stations in the world, 200,000 in Europe. And by the end of the year, there will be 400 Ionity stations in Europe, each with 4-5 outlets. The goal is to have a socket every 50 km. We say that the goal will not be achieved too soon.
i4 has 4 running programs
You can choose EcoPro, Comfort, or you can opt for Sport. Another press on Sport, activates the Sport Boost program, which adds 68 hp for 10 s. In total it reaches 544 hp and 795 Nm.
iX3 has no Off-road mode
Although it has all-wheel drive and ground suspension with ground clearance adjustment, the iX will not have a road dedicated to rough terrain. The wheel torque control is done electronically, so it will be well adapted off-road anyway.
Why Series 4 and not Series 3?
BMW has decided to start with the i4, the electric equivalent of the 4 Series. It could have started with a sedan like the 3 Series, but the i4 is more interesting to the public. It has a more dynamic shape and a large trunk, of 470 l. In the future, it is very likely that the electric equivalent of the 3 Series will appear.
The BMW i3 will have a successor, but it will be called differently
Already the legendary BMW i3, which has been produced for 9 years, will receive a successor. The problem is that with the future electric Series 3, there will be a conflict over the name i3. Normally, it is a name for the sedan. That’s why the future compact electric hatch, now known as the i3, could be renamed.
No buttons for air conditioning
The physical buttons have almost disappeared from the new electric models. Even climate controls are now integrated into the multimedia system menu. But the Germans promise us that there will be no problem of functionality. They can be accessed either by “buttoning” the screen or by voice commands. “That’s what the customers asked for,” say the Germans. For example, you tell him you want the temperature on the right passenger at 19 degrees, and the car conforms.
Lifetime guaranteed batteries
The batteries of the new BMW i4 and iX models are designed to last the entire life of the car. I mean, you won’t change them until you break the car. As for the rapid replacement of the empty battery with a full one in the “gas stations of the future”, BMW specialists are skeptical. Identical batteries should be available for all models, which is impossible. Charging at the outlet remains the only option.
In the case of the iX, aluminum was used extensively, and the carbon fiber survival cell dropped by 50 kg. The Germans describe it as a model with the size of the X5, the comfort of the 7 Series and the agility of the 5 Series. We will see in the first test.
Overall, the carbon footprint was reduced by 45% compared to a conventional vehicle. 50% of the aluminum used is recycled, 60 kg of plastic comes from the recycling process, so 20% of all materials are recycled. In addition, the Dingolfing plant uses only energy from green sources.
The front grille will repair itself
The “kidneys” do not only have an ornamental role in the BMW i4 and iX. They are heated so that the laser systems remain functional even at low temperatures. They are also made of polyurethane that can be easily repaired when scratched. Just point a jet of heat at him and the scratches stop.