We already know a lot about the upcoming BMW i4 electric car. Previewed by a concept car last year, we know it's going to essentially be an EV version of the Gran Coupe version of the new 4 Series, with sleek styling, a liftback rear end and yes, big kidney grilles. We also know that it will have up to 530 horsepower, a 0-62 mph time of 4 seconds, and a range of 373 miles on the European WLTP cycle. But there's one important question we didn't have the answer to: Will it drift?
Well, today BMW released a new video and set of photos from the i4's final testing regimen that answered that question. Yes, the BMW i4 will be able to drift. In fact, project manager David Alfredo Ferrufino Camacho says the i4 is the first car that BMW has developed "with sporty DNA for purely electric driving entirely from scratch." Being quick in a straight line isn't enough for BMW, he says, which seems like a veiled dig at other EV manufacturers.
In the video, we can see Ferrufino drifting the i4 around a test course pretty effortlessly -- at one point he even remarks that he's able to slide the car with just two fingers on the wheel. The "laser-sharp handling" of the car is influenced by three factors, he says: damping, steering support and return-to-center of the steering. The i4 has its own damping and suspension setup for a both smooth and sporty ride, and the electric power steering has been tuned for neutral behavior and precise feedback.
The i4 is also helped by the low center of gravity and good weight distribution that are inherent to electric cars. BMW also says the i4 has a long wheelbase, big wheels, a wide track and strong torsional rigidity, all of which help with the ride and handling. It's a sure bet that the i4 will be all-wheel drive, at least in its more powerful configuration, so there's probably some slick torque vectoring electronic trickery going, too.
BMW is getting ready to start production of the i4 at its plant in Munich, with sales set to begin in the US by the end of 2021.