Lately, every time I fill my car up with petrol, the urge to write more letters to the relevant alphabet organisation to install more electric chargers grows even more. Admittedly, my desire to pilot an electric car is correlated with the rise of pump prices. And lately, I am coveting those usually bluish-tinted vehicles for purely financial reasons.
The new BMW i4 Gran Coupe Electric has subverted that. I actually want it because of its automotive ability. There has been only one other electric car that I wanted for the same reason — the Porsche Taycan. The BMW i4 joins that list.
Ignore the fact that it’s an electric car and concentrate on the fact that the BMW i4 is an excellent drive. It has surprising agility, boasts the dynamic handling of a sports sedan, and grips tightly to the road no matter what you throw at the car. Regular BMW drivers will feel right at home in the i4.
Like all electric cars, torque is almost instantaneous and you can complete the century sprint in a respectable 5.7 seconds.
What really impressed me was the i4’s range. Even with my extremely leaden right foot, I could cover approximately 450 km on a full charge. The press release trots out a figure of “up to 590 km”. I have no doubt that’s achievable.
The interior is cavernous and boasts all the trappings of a luxury car — Vernasca leather, fine wood grain interior trim, velour floor mats and a massive 14.9-inch control display with full-colour heads-up display. The i4 also comes with the new Operating System 8. It is clunky to navigate, but lets you customise the car to your fancy. From regeneration level to even the electric soundtrack, BMW has pulled out all the stops.
The backseat is raised slightly because of the battery’s positioning. But the designers have accommodated this quirk so that your passengers don’t feel like they’re bumping their heads against the roof.
Beyond Singapore’s abysmal charging infrastructure, most drivers I know still stick to petrol cars because of the higher upfront costs of an electric vehicle. At $311,888, the i4 isn’t the cheapest environmentally friendly option around. The Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 will set you back about $50,000 less. However, both don’t hold a candle to the sheer driving pleasure and sense of luxury that the i4 conveys to the driver. And with petrol prices the way they are, it just makes more financial sense in the long run to switch to an EV. The i4 presents a compelling case.
If you still prefer a hybrid car though, you might want to read this.