The first-ever BMW i4 lands in Singapore to a warm sunny welcome!

With the BMW iX and iX3 both having made their maiden debuts last year, it was only a matter of time before BMW’s first-ever i4 (and first-ever EV sports sedan I might add) arrives on our sunny island to cater to our local market’s recently re-energised push to get drivers into the seats of more environmentally friendly machines.

As BMW has proven with the iX, iX3 and even, the i3, this foray into a cleaner future doesn’t have to come at the expense of an entertaining drive and with 340 fully-charged up Hans-Zimmer singing horses and 430 Nm of torques delivered purely out of the rear-wheels on the initial batch of eDrive40s, driver enjoyment is now the main highlight of BMW’s latest electrified offering. For those wanting even more thrust, the M50 variant is scheduled to arrive later in the year.

Aesthetically, the i4 retains most of its visual styling cues from the already smart-looking BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe upon which it is based save for several aerodynamically enhancing additions to eke out those extra kilometres of range.

Colour choice does seem to play quite an important role when it comes to visual appeal as the ubiquitous blue highlights (because electric) do stand out better when paired with BMW’s mineral white metallic than its grey counterpart.

Inside, the biggest differentiator against its ICE’d siblings is the addition of the lovely iX-Esque screen, incorporating a 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display behind a curved glass surface angled towards the driver.

And because we live on an island that is still playing catch-up with understanding just how many chargers are required to sustain its projected EV population, the range is and will continue to undoubtedly be a key pull factor when it comes to converting the unconvinced.

On that front, the BMW i4 eDrive40 sports a very respectable, very efficient and very usable (WLTP rated) range of between 493 to 590 kilometres. More than enough juice for a quick jaunt up to Malaysia’s capital.

Understandably, while the BMW i4 can re-energise its batteries from 10-80% in a little over half an hour, or a quick 164 kilometres of juice from a quick 10-minute splash and dash, this speedy charge is only available if you have a juicy 205kW of DC recharging power. On less powerful charging stations, the i4’s heady recuperation speed does start to slightly taper off.

As a base yardstick, that same 80% of power from a slightly less powerful 100kW rapid charger will require an extra 10 minutes (41 minutes) of charging time and on an even less powerful 50kW charger, 80% of power will take you slightly over an hour.

Because rapid chargers work different from slow chargers, measuring charging times against lower-powered wallboxes are not a fair comparison as rapid chargers taper off their power levels after 80% (as a safeguard against premature wear) while slow chargers do not have to do so. That said, on an 11kW wallbox, the BMW i4 can attain 100% of power from zero in slightly under 8.5 hours. On an even lower powered 7.4kW wallbox, this will take around 13 hours.

Considering most drivers will rarely deplete their batteries to such a state, this is in our opinion, hardly deal-breaking. Still, good to know.

Another good to know is that for local buyers, the BMW i4’s entry price of S$311,888* (inclusive of COE) also comes with a choice of either an 11Kw wall-mounted AC charger with complimentary installation or if that isn’t an option for your place of residence, a subscription package of 10,000 kWh worth of power for 3 years at Shell Recharge stations with no monthly cap for charging. Equivalent to approximately 50,000 kilometres of driving range.

While we’ve yet to spend some time behind the wheel of BMW’s latest EV, we reckon that considering it’s almost on price parity with the BMW 320i M Sport (S$310,888*), those looking for a sporty future-proofed drive from BMW could do little wrong going for the i4.

* Prices correct as of 29th March 2022

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