Like Porsche before it, BMW is ready to knock Tesla off its perch atop the electric car market. Details about the German automaker’s upcoming electric sedan, the i4, are starting to filter out, and it looks like it will provide some stiff competition to the EV behemoth’s popular Model 3.
Part of the company’s push to launch 25 new electrified models by 2023, the i4 looks to be one of the most important vehicles of the initiative thanks to a futuristic aesthetic and some mighty impressive performance specs. And, if a new report from CNET is anything to go by, Tesla might actually have something to worry about.
Set to go into production in 2021, it’s looking like the i4 will pack some serious oomph. The website reports that the vehicle will be powered by an 80 kWh battery that’ll produce the equivalent of 530 hp. Thanks to this powertrain, the car will be able to accelerate from 0-to-62 mph in a flat four seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 120 mph. All that signals a car that drivers can actually have some fun with.
The i4 will also reportedly get its juice from BMW’s new “Generation 5” battery back. Lighter and stronger than the battery packs in the company’s current electric vehicles, the i3 and i8, it can reach an 80-percent charge in just 35 minutes when connected to a 150-kW DC fast charger. It also has an extremely impressive 340-mile range. Plus, drivers can add another 62 miles to the car with just a six-minute charge, which is three times as quick as it would take to do the same for the current i3 hatchback.
If the numbers CNET cites prove to be true, the i4 should easily best the Model 3, which currently boasts 283 hp, can go from 0-to-62mph in 5.6 seconds and has a range of 250 miles. Robb Report reached out to BMW to confirm the reported specs, but the automaker’s reps did not immediately respond.
Except for some official photos of a camouflaged i4 undergoing testing in the Arctic Circle earlier this year, BMW has yet to reveal the car’s final design. But last year, the company confirmed that it would be based on the iVision Dynamics concept from 2017. If true, that would easily make the car one of the most striking electric vehicles on the market.
The i4 is expected to arrive in America in two years as a 2022 model. No pricing information has been made available yet, but expect it to be north of the Model 3’s $64,000 starting price.