BMW is adding a new EV to its lineup, the perplexingly named i4 eDrive35, which also happens to be the German automaker’s most affordable electric vehicle. Production will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022, with prices starting at $51,400, and the first shipments will arrive in the first quarter of 2023.
The BMW i4 eDrive35 has a range of 260 miles, which puts it in competition with Volkswagen’s ID.4 SUV, Polestar 2, and the Hyundai Kona Electric, all of which are in the same price range. BMW has reduced the battery capacity on the i4 eDrive35 to 66 kWh (down from 81 kWh on the i4 eDrive40), while charging speeds top out at 180 kW, a slight decrease from the 200 kW figure touted by the i4 M50 model.
Yes, BMW is serving less for the lower asking price, but those are the only two significant areas where the i4 eDrive35 may appear inferior. On the surface, not much has changed in comparison to the more expensive eDrive40 model. The latest BMW offering is powered by the same Gen5 eDrive engine as the other i4 series vehicles and even the premium iX model.
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In terms of raw performance, BMW’s latest electric vehicle produces 281 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The BMW i4 eDrive35’s single electric motor, according to the manufacturer, can propel it from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds. In terms of charging speed, BMW claims that buyers can expect up to 80 percent charge in just 32 minutes.
While the design is unmistakably BMW, its unified digital dashboard is the main draw. The vehicle includes a long curved display that combines a 14.9-inch control display and a 12.3-inch information cluster dashboard. The system is powered by the in-house BMW Operating System 8, which includes ConnectedDrive digital services and an OTA update facility.
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The i4 eDrive35 is BMW’s way of offering a low-cost entry point into the i4 EV lineup. BMW has ambitious EV sales plans, with the goal of having BEVs account for 50% of all shipments by 2030. So far, the company claims to have sold 57,000 electric vehicles worldwide in the first half of 2022. BMW is betting on its brand value and luxury pedigree to sell EVs with the i4 eDrive35, and it may find buyers when competing with options from Hyundai and newcomers like Polestar.