After years of teasing, BMW is still not quite ready to show off the final version of its i4 electric sedan, the long-awaited followup to its i3 EV and i8 hybrid that’s due out sometime in 2021. But a new concept version revealed at the (now digital-only) 2020 Geneva Motor Show is the best look yet at what the German automaker has in store with the i4.
First off, BMW is reiterating a lot of the i4’s specs it shared at the LA Auto Show in November 2019, and clarifying a few things as well. The big one is range. When BMW claimed back then that the i4 would get 600 kilometers (nearly 400 miles) on a full battery pack, it seemed obvious that the company was relying on the more forgiving European WLTP standard. Turns out that was right, as BMW now says the i4 will come with an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles (or around 435 kilometers).
While that’s maybe a little less exciting, it would still be a sufficient technological achievement considering that BMW says the i4 will be powered by an 80kWh battery pack. For a rough comparison, Porsche’s Taycan Turbo has a 93.4 kWh battery pack and only got an EPA rating of 201 miles, while the slower but lighter Hyundai Kona gets close to 260 miles out of a 64kWh pack. There are a lot of factors that go into what ultimately determines the EPA’s range estimates, but if BMW can really squeeze that many miles out of that size battery pack, it would put it somewhat close to the top of the list as far as energy efficiency goes.