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‘i’ Performance – BMW i4 eDrive35

What is it?

THE BMW i4 eDrive35 is the latest model to join the fully-electric BMW family, available in both Sport and M Sport trim, the four-door Gran Coupé offers a fully-electric range of up to 299 miles (WLTP), and features the same BMW Curved Display with BMW iDrive and Operating System 8 found in all BMW i4 models, as well as the BMW iX and iX1.

The BMW i4 eDrive35 Sport includes an impressive level of equipment as standard, including LED Headlights, 18″ alloy wheels, as well as eye-capturing elements in blue design. Inside, Black Cloth/Sensatec upholstery is offered as standard with Front Heated Seats also included.

Customers choosing the BMW i4 eDrive35 M Sport add the M aerodynamic exterior styling as standard, High-gloss Shadowline exterior, 18″ M Aerodynamic alloy wheels, M Sport leather steering wheel and Alcantara/Sensatec interior upholstery with Black/Blue contrast stitching.

BMW’s portfolio of fully-electric vehicles is continuing to grow, with BMW i5 set to join the BMW iX1, BMW i4, BMW iX3, BMW iX and BMW i7 later in 2023. The BMW Group is aiming for more than 50% of its sales volumes to come from fully-electric vehicles no later than 2030. Last year in the UK, BMW battery electric vehicle sales tripled on the previous year to 21,481 registrations, meaning one in five BMWs sold last year was a fully-electric vehicle, making it the fastest-growing BEV brand in the UK.

Steve Roberts, General Manager, Corporate Sales, BMW UK, said: “Following the huge success we have seen with BMW i4 in the Corporate and Fleet markets since launch, we are very pleased to bring the eDrive35 model to the UK portfolio. We’re offering this model in Sport and M Sport trims, which both include an impressive level of standard equipment, including 18” alloy wheels, alongside a range of up to 299 miles. This latest model to join the i4 range will make electric driving accessible to even more of our customers.”

The BMW i4 eDrive35 is priced from £49,995 (OTR) .

It’s a “reasonably” affordable Gran Coupe looking to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

What do we think?

Let’s start with range and the WLTP figures look enticing. The rear-wheel-drive  i4 eDrive40 start at £52k, for a zero-to-62mph under six seconds and 365 miles of electric range. The twin-motor i4  does 0-62 in 3.9 seconds. It’s called the i4 M50 and costs £64k and a range of up to 318 miles.

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In the real world outside of WLTP, those figures are nye on impossible to achieve, think more 220-250 miles which is still not too shabby. What I really liked was the radar-like range display overlaid on a map which showed where you could be able to get to with what is in the battery.

The rest of the dash, and interior in general, is what you would expect from a sporty Beemer and there is a surprising amount of room for four adults and a large and useful boot with 470 litres of space which is more than either the Tesla or Polestar – there’s no ‘frunk’ however. . Materials are smart and the seats comfortable. Driving position is also good while getting in and out of the car is not so easy for those of a certain age.

Push the driver’s seat back too far and rear seat leg room suffers while anyone sitting in the centre at the back will have to contend with a tunnel which carries cabling.

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Shouldn’t matter too much. can muster, and the usefulness of that big hatchback means bikes and tip runs are a doddle.

A new display system features a pair of curved screens which can be configured it with multiple options and there’s the usual BMW iDrive controller wheel.

On the road, the i4 in M power trim is ferociously quick. Stamp on the accelerator and it proper jerks your head back in the seat. Be careful, though, as you’ll be here you’re going before you know it – and there’s even a hint if engine noise built in.  A sedate take off requires the lightest of feather touches with the right foot.

In traffic the BMW feels smooth and easy, no lurching around and it handles speed bumps impressivelly. There is also an array of driver assistance gadgetry which works well enough, the only grumble on the narrow lanes is the lane-keeping assist which can get a little too aggressive. It comes on on start up and you have to work your way through the menus to turn it off.

The BMW i4 certainly adds to the competition in the sporty EV world, an area Tesla once claimed for itself. The Beemer certainly measures up against the Model 3 and Polestar 2 in terms of performance while in my view it just edges things in the ‘looks’ department.


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