BMW has launched its new electric i4 and updated iX3 locally. This follows the announcement of the last production of the icon BMW i3, the first fully (and a partly electrical) vehicle.
The BMW i3 hit the road in 2013 with more than 250 000 sold worldwide. In South Africa, 470 i3s found new homes since its local launch here in 2015.
Now the focus is on a completely new generation EV for the German manufacturer where the gravimetric energy density of the lithium-ion battery has been increased by around 20 per cent once more compared with the battery in the current BMW i3.
The launch of the BMW i4 brings electric mobility to the heart of the BMW brand. The BMW i4 is a four-door gran coupé with the sporting ability for which BMW is renowned and a range that convinces over long journeys.
Initially, only one model, being the first BMW M car with a locally emission-free drive system, was introduced. The BMW i4 M50 performance model from BMW M GmbH uses one electric motor at the front axle and another at the rear to deliver system output of 400 kW and has a range of up to 510 kilometres.
In terms of performance, the system’s maximum output is 795 Nm, and BMW claims the vehicles can do the sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology also comprises a high-voltage battery with the latest battery-cell technology.
The Combined Charging Unit (CCU) of the BMW i4 has been designed to enable extremely flexible battery charging. DC charging is possible at up to 200 kW. For example, in a short mid-journey stop at a high-power charging station, the car’s range can be increased by as much as 140 kilometres (BMW i4 M50) within 10 minutes from a 10 per cent charge level.
The BMW i4 model in South Africa is supplied complete with the BMW Charging Card, a Flexible Fast Charger for charging at up to 11 kW and a mode 2 charging cable. The car costs R1 600 000.
The other EV that customers can look forward to, is the updated BMW iX3, the all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
The iX3 has the long-distance ability with a range of up to 460 kilometres with 210 kW and peak torque of 400 Nm. Power transferred to the rear wheels and acceleration to a 100 km/h takes only 6.8 seconds.
Combined Charging Unit enables direct current (DC) fast-charging at a rate of up to 150 kW. 10-minute fast charge adds around 100 kilometres of range. The vehicle costs R1 290 000 (July).
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