Car News

BMW Ushers in Electric Future with Debut of i4 and iX EVs

BMW has provided us with a glimpse of what its battery-electric future in Canada will look like with the debut of the i4 sedan and the iX xDrive50 SUV.

We learned a little bit about the BMW iX when it made its European debut late last year, so let’s start out by focusing on the brand-new BMW i4 sedan.

The i4 will be offered in two trim levels in Canada from launch: eDrive 40 and the sportier M50. The eDrive 40 features a single rear-mounted electric motor, which produces 335 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, along with an 81.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup will allow the i4 eDrive 40 to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in about 5.6 seconds and achieve a BMW-estimated driving range of 475 kilometres.

The i4 M50, as its M branding would suggest, is the sportier of the two i4 variants. It features a dual-motor setup with a maximum output of 536 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque, helping the four-door hustle from zero to 100 km/h in as little as 3.9 seconds. It features the same 81.5 kWh lithium-ion battery as the eDrive 40, though the high-performance powertrain means range falls to a BMW-estimated 375 kilometres.

Both i4 variants have a maximum DC fast-charging capacity of up to 200 kW and AC Level 2 charging of up to 11 kW. Filling the battery from 10 per cent to 80 per cent capacity with a DC fast charger will take about 31 minutes. A full charge using the AC charger, meanwhile, should take about seven and a half hours at a rate of 11 kW.

The i40 M50 also leans into its sporty personality with adaptive M suspension, different anti-roll bars, variable sport steering, more powerful M Sport brakes, and M-branded 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels with staggered tire sizes. Onlookers will be able to easily identify the M variant of the i4, as well, thanks to its different front and rear fasciae, additional side air intakes, grey-painted exterior trim, M badging, and optional M-specific spoiler.

Interior occupants will be greeted by a standard 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display, which are mounted close together to combine into a single unit. Other standard equipment includes sport seats, a sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and, on the M50, raised centre console kneepads. Blue accents feature throughout, as well, such as on the start/stop button, steering wheel, and gearshift lever, and serve as “a nod to the electric drive system,” the automaker says.

Active safety technology will of course be present in the i4 eDrive 40 and i4 M50, including frontal collision warning and lane departure warning. The available Driving Assistant Professional system, which uses three front cameras, one front-facing radar sensor and four side radar sensors, enables semi-autonomous highway driving at speeds of up to 180 km/h.

Now let’s turn our attention to the BMW iX. This electric SUV will launch in Canada in early 2022 in one trim level, xDrive50, with prices starting at $89,990. The standard dual-motor powertrain provides a combined power output of 516 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in an impressive 4.6 seconds. A more powerful iX M60 model is also on the way, which will produce over 600 horsepower.

The iX’s battery has a net capacity of 106.3 kWh and provides a BMW-estimated driving range of 475 kilometres. Like the i4, the iX is capable of charging at a rate of 200 kW when hooked up to a DC fast charger, filling the battery from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity in about 31 minutes. AC charging is supported at a rate of 11 kW and takes 11 hours to fill the battery from flat to full.

Inside, a curved, one-piece display attaches the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and the 14.9-inch central display to form a single unit that is slightly angled towards the driver. Users can control the screen using the controls in the centre console, or the multifunction controls on the quirky hexagonal steering wheel. Other standard equipment includes four-zone automatic climate control, a wireless charging pad, and BMW Driving Assistant with blind spot detection, lane departure warning and front and rear collision alert. Like the i4, Driving Assistant Professional is also available in the iX.

Look for both of these new battery-electric BMWs to begin arriving on Canadian shores in Q1 of 2022.