BMW CONCEPT i4. STAY AHEAD IN STYLE.
>> The BMW Group is opening a new chapter in its history with the unveiling of a pure-electric Gran Coupe.
Munich. The BMW Group is opening a new chapter in its history with the unveiling of a pure-electric Gran Coupe. The BMW Concept i4 takes electric drive to the core of the BMW brand and heralds a new era in Sheer Driving Pleasure. The BMW Concept i4 represents a look ahead to the BMW i4, slated to enter production in 2021. It provides a whole new take on the dynamic excellence for which BMW is renowned and blends a modern, elegantly sporty design with the spaciousness and functionality of a four-door Gran Coupe – all while generating zero local emissions.
The exterior – electrifying aesthetics.
The modern, elegant exterior represents a deliberate counterpoint to the dynamic flair of the driving experience. The perfectly resolved Gran Coupe proportions create an authentic, modern and confident appearance. The long wheelbase, fastback roofline and short overhangs form a basic profile brimming with elegance and dynamism. With its four doors, the BMW Concept i4 offers not only a high level of everyday usability and practicality, but also a much larger interior than the car’s modern and dynamic proportions would immediately suggest.
Clear surfaces and aerodynamic details.
Crisp, smooth lines and taut volumes merge into a rich, smoothly contoured sculpture and create a clear surfacing language. The modern exterior paint shade Frozen Light Copper reprises a colour nuance displayed by the BMW Vision iNEXT and showcases the interplay of surfaces to visually stunning effect. Blue elements in the front end, flanks and rear end point to the car’s BMW i origins. They shine a spotlight on the signature BMW i icons and bring the technology below the surface to the fore – for example, the kidneys in their role as an intelligence panel, the mouldings in the side skirts concealing the battery technology, and the diffuser elements in the rear end, which fill the design space vacated by exhaust tailpipes and enhance aerodynamic efficiency.
A host of other aerodynamic measures maximise the car’s electric range. The blanked off kidney grille and clear aero lips provide detail examples of sophisticated airflow engineering at work. Another distinctive area of the car are the wheel rims. These have been designed exclusively for the BMW Concept i4 and blend aerodynamic and lightweight design; smooth – and therefore aerodynamically optimised – surfaces contrast with ultra-low-weight, high-strength spokes. The rims extend the car’s palette of colours and materials, emphasising its luxurious overall character.
The front end – the eye-catching face of a new era.
The front-end treatment of the BMW Concept i4 presents the familiar BMW icons in a new look, lending a visually powerful face to the electric age at BMW. The prominent, closed-off kidney grille provides a tangible connection between the past and future of BMW. The BMW icon also gains new functionality: With no combustion engine to require cooling, the grille now serves primarily as an “intelligence panel” housing various sensors. The grille teases the technology behind the scenes with a special design for this model. The headlights likewise provide a bridge between the past and the future; the classical four-eyed front end is reprised here with a very modern and pared-back interpretation. Two intricate, freestanding LED elements on either side integrate all of the requisite light functions. Clean surfaces and a small number of crisp lines around the grille create a contemporary front-end graphic with considerable visual impact. A BMW i-style blue accent in the grille surround sets the seal on the front-end styling.
Striking rear end with aerodynamic features.
The rear of the BMW Concept i4 sits low over the road and cuts a broad, horizontally emphasised figure. The surfaces progress across the rear in a smooth and luxuriant movement, and give it a very modern and calm appearance. The long, slim L-shaped rear lights continue the theme. Below the rear lights, the inward-angled surfaces form aerodynamics-enhancing lips and incorporate vertical air outlets. The verticality of the design here emphasises the car’s sporting stance. Further down, the rear apron has a forceful presence and enhances aerodynamic efficiency. Where exhaust tailpipes would once have been found, diffuser elements in BMW i Blue indicate the presence of a pure-electric drive system and reference the design of the BMW i Vision Dynamics.
The interior – innovation meets minimalism.
The interior of the BMW Concept i4 focuses on those times when the driver chooses to pilot the car themselves. To this end, every element in the front of the cabin is trained on the driver. The new BMW Curved Display teams up with the steering wheel to reveal a new take on driver orientation and offers a look ahead to the display in the production versions of the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. Here, the presentation surfaces of the information display and Control Display merge into a single unit inclined towards the driver. This screen grouping optimises presentation of information and makes the display’s touch operation more intuitive. Advanced display tech with non-reflective glass also removes the need for a shroud to shade the displays and therefore contributes to an extremely uncluttered and airy cockpit.
The BMW Curved Display encompasses a large proportion of the section in front of the driver and above the centre stack, and gives the front area a very modern appearance. Its slim, borderless form exudes quality and sophistication. Almost all operating functions are integrated into the display as part of an overall approach centred on reducing the number of haptic controls to the minimum. Even the climate control system now works by touch control.
Focus on the essential.
The front section of the interior around the BMW Curved Display also majors on pared-back design. The understated use of different materials and the fundamental arrangement of controls creates a modern yet also luxurious ambience. With this in mind, elements such as air outlets are integrated almost invisibly into the overall geometry and concealed behind strong patterns.
Accent strips in warm Gold Bronze blending to chrome lend the interior a high-class touch. The central control panel replaces a traditional gear lever with a toggle-type shifter. Elements such as the iDrive Controller and seat memory buttons in the doors are finished in a classy crystal glass. The cloth/leather combination for the seats – composed of microfibre with line graphics and natural leather tanned using olive leaf – sets a high-quality and sustainable seal on the interior. The overall result is a clearly structured, bright and airy cabin which brings across the tranquillity and authority of electric drive systems.
Further developed user interface design with Experience Modes.
The screen grouping with new BMW Curved Display provides a digital gateway into the electric age at BMW. Look and feel are clearly influenced by the latest electronic devices and have been made deliberately less “automotive” in nature. In the display itself, flat layers provide considerable visual depth. Overall, the BMW Curved Display and new presentation approach combine to provide a first-class content-viewing experience.
Three different Experience Modes enable users to explore the various facets of the electric drive system and provide a look ahead – in terms of visuals at least – to the next-generation operating system from 2021. The sometimes emphasised visual differentiation between the three Experience Modes (“Core”, “Sport” and “Efficient”) spans everything from how the user experiences the display and graphics to how the interior is presented. Ambient lighting in the dashboard, doors and (indirectly) below the display indicate the technical adjustments taking place.
“Core” mode introduces the driver’s area to an updated interpretation of the four “widgets” familiar from the display concept of existing models. Here, the graphics reprise the pattern above the air vents and the Gold Bronze accent colour, consciously referencing the car’s interior design. In the area where the central display used to be positioned, a map and widgets now line up alongside one another. The user can navigate around the diagonal widgets using a swipe movement and arrange them intuitively by drag-and-drop. This allows them to adapt the display to their personal preferences.
In “Sport” mode, the “widgets” come closer together and create a focussed view. Sideways movements behind the zones are used to show how tight the next corner is, facilitating anticipatory driving. This form of content presentation also allows effective peripheral viewing. The right-hand area of the display shows specific functions in a similar way to BMW M’s lap timer app.
“Efficient” mode debuts an “Assisted Driving View”, which shows the driver what the car’s sensors are detecting. This Experience Mode opens up deeper insights into the car’s technology, such as how it communicates with its surroundings. In the BMW Concept i4, the focus here is on anticipatory and efficient driving, and key information for efficient driving is incorporated. The right-hand area of the display shows additional vehicle information, such as the charge level and range.