2022 BMW i4 debuts with expected 300-mile range, $56,395 price tag
The new BMW i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 go on sale in early 2022.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
BMW revealed a few preliminary photos and details about its all-electric i4 back in March, but on Tuesday, the company opened the floodgates with full US specs, including performance figures, range estimates and price. We even had the chance to drive a prototype of the new i4, so be sure to check out that story for a whole bunch of on-road impressions.
The i4 will officially go on sale in the US in the first quarter of 2022, about two years after the original i4 concept debuted. As expected, the production car looks a lot like the concept, and doesn't stray too far from the gas-powered 4 Series range. That's intentional, of course; the i4's four-door liftback body will also be used for the upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe, which is expected to debut in the coming months. And look, we know most people hate the grille, but actually kind of works better all closed off for i4 duty. It's still not pretty, but maybe not so bad anymore.
2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 and M50 bring electric power and new infotainment tech
Inside, the i4 shares a lot with other 4 Series models, from the steering wheel to the switchgear on the center console. The biggest difference? iDrive 8. The infotainment technology itself boasts a whole bunch of upgrades, including 5G connectivity, and it's housed on the new BMW Curved Display. This huge display seamlessly incorporates a 14.9-inch infotainment screen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and it looks absolutely killer in person. Anti-reflective glass means the screens won't wash out in sunlight, either -- a good thing, since the i4 comes standard with a panoramic sunroof.
BMW will sell two i4 variants in the US: the eDrive40 and M50. Both come with a self-leveling rear air suspension and the M50 is visually distinguished by its more heavily sculpted front and rear fascias. The i4's would-be air intakes look very similar to those of the standard 4 Series models, despite being closed off for better aerodynamics. The i4 eDrive40 comes standard with 18-inch wheels while the M50 gets 19s, and BMW says a range of 19- and 20-inch wheels will be optional.
2022 BMW i4
300 miles (est.)
245 miles (est.)
Price (incl. dest.)
Both i4s have a 83.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack, of which BMW says 81.5 kWh is actually usable. The i4 can accept fast-charging at a max of 200 kW, and when doing so, can take the battery from a 10% state of charge to 80% in 31 minutes. That's slower than EVs like the Audi E-Tron GT or even the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5, which have 800-volt architecture that supports faster charging. When hooked up to a Level 2 charger, the i4's battery can go from totally empty to 100% in 7.6 hours. BMW has a partnership with EVgo for charging, including a mobile app and a $100 charging credit with the purchase or lease of a new i4.
The i4 eDrive40 uses a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive configuration, with 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. BMW estimates a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 5.7 seconds for the i4 eDrive40, as well as a top speed of 118 mph. Official EPA range ratings are still TBD, but BMW expects the eDrive40 to go about 300 miles with a full charge.
The i4 M50, meanwhile, has a two-motor, all-wheel-drive setup, making it significantly more powerful and a lot quicker, too. Weirdly, BMW doesn't have torque specs for the i4 M50's front or rear motors, only saying they produce 255 hp and 308 hp, respectively. However, BMW quotes a combined output of 536 hp and 586 lb.-ft. This gives the M50 an 0-to-60-mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Despite the additional motor, the added power takes a toll on range, with BMW estimating the EPA rating will come in around 245 miles.
Launch control comes standard on both i4s, as does a technology BMW calls near-actuator wheel slip limitation. This essentially fits traction control systems into the electric motors themselves, for quicker and more precise control. In the i4 eDrive40, this means the rear-wheel-drive system offers more stability, and in the all-wheel-drive M50, front-to-rear and side-to-side torque vectoring.
The M50 has a bunch of improvements over the standard i4 eDrive40, all of which make it pretty darn good to drive. An electronically adjustable adaptive suspension, larger antiroll bars, an additional strut tower brace and M Sport brakes are all standard. The M50 also has variable sport steering with a much quicker ratio -- 14.1:1 compared to 15.5:1 in the i4 eDrive40.
Interestingly, the M50 can also recuperate more braking energy than the eDrive40, at a max rate of 195 kW (the standard i4 is 116 kW). On that note, all i4s have adaptive energy recuperation, where the car uses GPS data and driver-assistance systems to adjust the amount of regenerative braking needed before a turn, stoplight, etc. Beyond that, drivers can select High, Medium or Low regen levels, with the former allowing for proper one-pedal driving.
Available driver-assistance systems include forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, full-speed adaptive cruise control, automated parking assist and more. Oh, and the i4 has a number of adjustable driving sounds produced by Hans Zimmer. If you're into that sort of thing.
When it goes on sale next year, the 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 will start at $56,395, including $995 for destination but excluding federal and local rebates. The more powerful i4 M50 comes in at $66,895. Pricing for individual options will be available closer to launch, as will final EPA range data.