The 2022 BMW i4 electric sedan was shown off for the first time today at the automaker's annual conference. Badged a "Gran Coupe," it's set to hit the market this year and will offer versions including an M Performance model, up to 530 hp, and near 600 km of range on the WLTP cycle.

We're seeing the new BMW about three months earlier than we expected, but a year after the automaker first showed us the concept car. The one shown today is the production-ready version of BMW's compact electric four-door. It looks very similar to the concept version, but it also clearly resembles the new BMW 4 Series on which it's based, including sharing that car's large version of the BMW kidney grille that has become the new face of the brand, though to no small amount of controversy.

The version shown off today in Munich is a four-door Gran Coupe, meaning it has a sharper roofline than the same-size 3 Series sedan. It has loads of blue accents, the colour BMW is using to denote its growing i brand of electric vehicles, including surrounding the grilles and on the trim running from the front fender through the doors as well as surrounding the spots where the tailpipes would emerge in a gas version of the car. The simulated tailpipe surround is an interesting touch, though buyers of EVs may be split on wanting a complete appearance departure from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles versus a styling reminder like this.

While the presentation was short on technical details, BMW said that the i4 line will have a number of different versions, revealing that the top-spec model would have a 590-km range on the generous European WLTP cycle, or a manufacturer-estimated 486 km on the EPA test. Horsepower will be as high as 530 hp, and that will let the i4 go from zero to 100 km/h in around four seconds.

Expected to go on sale "during the course of 2021," BMW said that the rest of the details around the i4 will be revealed over the coming weeks.