Malaysia-bound BMW i4 debuts with first all-electric BMW M performance model

Daniel · Jun 2, 2021 12:03 PM

Malaysia-bound BMW i4 debuts with first all-electric BMW M performance model 01

You have seen the teasers along with the promise that it would head to Malaysian shores, and now we have the final specifications (international markets model, local specifications to be confirmed) of the BMW i4 range.

At launch, the BMW i4's global range consists of two variants, the rear-wheel drive 340 PS / 430 Nm eDrive40, and the all-wheel drive twin-motor 544 PS / 795 Nm M50. The latter of which is touted as “the first purely electric performance car from BMW M GmbH”.

Batteries and range

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Both the eDrive40 and M50 feature BMW’s new fifth-generation eDrive powertrain units, with a slim lithium-ion battery pack delivering 84-kWh charge capacity.

With a claimed WLTP power consumption of 20-16kWh/100 km and 24-19kWh/100 km, the eDrive40 and M50 boasts a 590 km and 510 km range respectively.

Malaysia-bound BMW i4 debuts with first all-electric BMW M performance model 01

According to BMW's estimates, users only need to hook the cars up to a 200-kW DC fast charger for 10 minutes to get up to 164 km of range for the eDrive40 and 140 km of range for the M50.

Performance figures

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Preliminary performance figures state a 0-100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds for the eDrive40, with the M50 able to monster its way to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. For comparison, the M50 matches the 510 PS / 650 Nm M4 Competition’s 0-100 km/h claim.

However, don’t try to challenge its petrol-powered relatives to a drawn-out drag race. Being electric motor driven, the i4 eDrive40 and M50 are electronically limited to 190km/h and 225km/h respectively.

4 Series vs i4, what’s the difference?

Malaysia-bound BMW i4 debuts with first all-electric BMW M performance model 03

In keeping with its ‘4’ designation, the i4 mirrors the 4 Series coupe in shape –  giant nostril grilles and all – albeit in a sleek ‘Gran Coupe’ four-door coupe form. However, that is where the similarities end.

Inside, the i4’s cabin is dominated by BMW’s new iDrive 8-powered Curved Display instrument-infotainment cluster.

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Instead of having two separate screens, as it is in the 4 Series, the i4’s 12.3-inch instrument cluster is elegantly merged with the 14.9-inch centre display.

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Despite its svelte shape, the i4 is quite a hefty car thanks to its batteries. BMW says the eDrive40 tips the scales at 2,050 kg and the M50 weighs 2,215 kg. Those figures are what you would expect from an X5 SUV.

To be fair, as it is with all-electric cars, that weight is all anchored to its bottom. BMW claims that its new fifth-generation battery packs measure just 110 mm in height, which places its centre of gravity up to 53 mm lower than that of the 3 Series sedan. 

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To ensure that the i4 is more than a glorified golf cart, BMW have equipped it with the 3 Series’ “lift-related” adaptive dampers and paired it with an air suspension system for the rear axle as a standard fitment. So owners can expect the i4 to feature some BMW handling finesse.

Malaysia-bound BMW i4 debuts with first all-electric BMW M performance model 07

As for the M50, it will sport its own adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering, M Sport braking system, optional M wheels, and an optional sound composed by movie music maestro, Hans Zimmer.

Also Read: Electric BMW i4 M confirmed, will get Hollywood-produced sounds

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Besides claiming that the i4 is saving the environment through zero tailpipe emissions and green manufacturing and sourcing methods, BMW says that it can save its owners money when it comes to maintenance.

According to BMW’s own estimates, the i4's total maintenance cost is 30 percent lower than a “comparable model with a combustion engine”.

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This is thanks to its electric motors not needing an oil change, having no exhaust filtration systems to service, and its brakes require less replacement as deceleration is mostly handled by its energy recuperation system.

When will the BMW i4 be on sale in Malaysia?

Malaysia-bound BMW i4 debuts with first all-electric BMW M performance model 10

While we originally reported that the BMW i4 will arrive in Malaysia sometime towards the end of 2021, that now seems unlikely.

Also Read: BMW Malaysia drops 2021 BMW i4 teaser, 530 PS sedan launching in Q4

According to BMW, the i4’s market launch will commence in November 2021. Given that time frame, you can expect the BMW’s first all-electric four-door coupe to land in Malaysia sometime next year. Unless BMW Malaysia really pulls a surprise to be among the first in the world to receive it. 

No hurry, we still have our EV charging infrastructure to sort out.

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Daniel

PGC

After a life of growing up with Malaysia bustling streets, Daniel set out to experience Australia open roads and ute culture for himself but ended up missing destination:makan morning drives and teh-tarik sessions. Our often-peculiar love of cars served as the inspiration for his musings at The Motor Muse.

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