Will the BMW i4 Electric Luxury Sedan Be Enough to Satiate BMW Purists?

Since its flagship hybrid, the BMW i8, BMW purists and motorsports enthusiasts have had a difficult time wrapping their heads around the fact that the industry is changing, and BMW must adapt. For a brand whose history and heritage are seeped in motorsports, so much so that the M badge itself stands for motorsports, such a change can be rather intimidating. The truth is, many manufacturers, like Audi, have made a big push to reduce the production of gasoline-powered cars altogether. So, the introduction of the all-electric BMW i4 didn’t come as a big surprise, but that also doesn’t mean enthusiasts are overly thrilled.

The introduction of the BMW i4

A BMW i4 electric car
A BMW i4 electric car | VCG, Getty Images

In order to live up to the high expectations of current BMW owners, the BMW i4 has some pretty big shoes to fill. According to BMW, it is the manufacturer’s first completely electric vehicle that is focused on performance, which gives buyers a lot of hope. With the introduction of hybrids starring boring and unflattering vehicles like the Toyota Prius, many consumers have had a hard time accepting the potential for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Many electric and hybrid vehicles provide an astonishing amount of power, and with the ability to provide that power and torque to the wheels within an instant, electric car manufacturers are producing vehicles that have the potential to be the fastest in the world. That includes vehicles like the new Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car that promises 0 – 60 mph in under 2 seconds. Performance-oriented brands like BMW don’t just have the expectations of current owners to match, they also must work to compete in a quickly evolving market of performance electric models.

The BMW i4 offers power and performance in an electric drivetrain

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BMW has stepped up to the plate to produce an all-electric model that will convince even the most stubborn anti-electric enthusiasts to accept it into the lineup. The base model BMW i4 eDrive40 offers a comfortable yet spunky 340 hp, more than enough for regular surface-street driving and enjoyment in traffic on your daily commute. Its 0 – 60 mph time of 5.7 seconds isn’t insanely impressive but isn’t overall that bad considering it’s the base model option.

The i4 will also be available with a motorsports model, a BMW i4 M50, which steps up the performance aspect of the electric sedan. With the Sports Boost, the two electric motors of the i4 M50 offer as much as 544 hp, which is far from disappointing in a luxury sedan. It’s quicker than the base model, with a 0 – 60 mph time of 3.9 seconds — which, realistically, is faster than you really need to accelerate, but since you aren’t worried about wasting gasoline, you won’t be overly worried.

“[The BMW i4 brings] electromobility to the heart of the BMW brand.”

Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW

What should BMW owners and enthusiasts expect?

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A change to a completely electric platform may be a bit of a leap for enthusiasts. In fact, even with a flagship supercar, the introduction of a hybrid model itself was relatively controversial. But, in order for the brand to continue improving in the way of sustainability and keep up with the rising demand and popularity of electric vehicles, BMW enthusiasts and owners should be open to the idea. More than that, enthusiasts should be excited to see the brand adapting and changing while still working to provide BMW fans with the luxury and performance we’ve known and love the brand for with its combustion-engine powered cars over the decades.