Take to the roads like never before with the BMW i4, which just happens to be powered by electricity
In partnership with BMW
Lots of us are looking to electric as the future of driving, but can you have substance, style and power in one car? The new BMW i4 appears to have it all, and as one of the sportiest and most desirable cars on the road today, we took it for a test drive.
IN REVIEW: THE BMW i4
Electric car technology is forging ahead, and BMW is at the forefront of this brave new world with its range of ‘i’-badged models. It started with the revolutionary i3 city car and flagship i8 sports car, while the iX leads an ever-expanding range of new electric SUVs. And with the arrival of the BMW i4, there’s now a sleek and sporty executive model in the line-up.
STYLE & TECH
The fastback shape carries familiar BMW styling cues, including a distinctive front end equipped with full LED headlights, a low, swooping roofline and a purposeful stance. However, there are also trademark ‘i’ highlights, including metallic blue detailing and a smoothed-off grille that reminds you that this model is electric. Inside, the i4 features the latest BMW in-car technology, including a vast 14.9-inch touchscreen and a large 12.3-inch driver’s display that curves around the dashboard.
POWER FOR THE BMW i4 COMES FROM A CHOICE OF TWO DIFFERENT ELECTRIC MOTOR SYSTEMS. BOTH VERSIONS OF THE i4 COME WITH A LARGE BATTERY PACK, SO YOU CAN PUT ANY WORRIES ABOUT RANGE BEHIND YOU
This set-up features BMW’s latest Operating System 8 software, with high-resolution graphics, quick responses to your inputs – be that via the touchscreen, voice control or BMW’s unique gesture control system – and plenty of connectivity solutions at your fingertips.
There’s room for a family and their kit inside, too, with a five-seat layout and a 470-litre boot. As you might expect from a BMW, the quality of the materials used is first-rate, with plenty of high-grade plastics, leather, wood and metal trim boosting the i4’s premium feel. Sport and M Sport models offer an extensive list of equipment that show off the i4’s interior at its best, too.
Power for the BMW i4 comes from a choice of two different electric motor systems. Both versions of the i4 come with a large battery pack, so you can put any worries about range behind you. Even the most powerful M50 has an officially tested range of 508km*, while the eDrive40 achieves a best of 577km*. That’s enough to theoretically get you from Dublin to Cork and back without having to stop and recharge.
But recharging shouldn’t pose too much of a hindrance to longer-distance travel. The BMW i4 has on-board charging technology that means it can take a high-voltage charge of up to 200kW. Find a source that powerful, and you can replenish the battery to 80 per cent capacity in as little as half an hour. To put it another way, that’s 133km of range added for every 10 minutes that the i4 is plugged in. BMW also offers charging solutions that allow you to keep the i4 topped up whenever it’s parked at home or at work.
JOY TO DRIVE
All of the i4’s innovative technology doesn’t spoil one thing that BMW is famous for: driving pleasure. The eDrive40 models have BMW’s traditional rear-wheel-drive layout, while the M50 has xDrive four-wheel drive for improved traction. Both models offer the kind of enjoyment from behind the wheel that many rivals struggle to match, with instant electric power and a low centre of gravity to boost stability in corners. Yet that electric drive system also means that the i4 is a calm and serene place to spend time when you take things easy. Zero-emissions running in town is a near-silent affair, while faster cruising on the motorway or country roads is comfortable and refined. As an all-round electric car the BMW i4 has it all.
Q&A with Leona Maguire
Golf pro and friend of the BMW brand, Leona Maguire, talks cars and career highs as she gets set to tee off at home this summer
What’s it like to travel the world playing golf?
I really think it has to be up there with one of the best jobs in the world! I often joke with my friends that the views from my roaming offices around the world can’t be beaten so it really has been a dream come true.
Can you describe a highlight in your career to date?
There have been so many great moments of both my amateur and professional careers so far but I would have to say that the highlight would be winning my first LPGA event at the Drive On Championship in Florida earlier this year would trump them all. I have had so much support from my family and the team around me who have allowed me to pursue my dream of playing professional and it is so rewarding for us all to see the hard work pay off.
To see athletes such as yourself breaking world records is so important for representation, how does it feel to know you’re inspiring a younger generation of girls to get into golf/sport?
When I was younger I know that I looked up to the Irish male professional golfers like Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, and I will always remember how inspiring it was when Dad first took my sister and I to see them play at the Irish Open. At that time there were no Irish females competing professionally so I think now more than ever it is so important that young people, especially young girls have role models that look like them competing on a world stage. I hope that the girls coming to watch me play or follow me on or on social media can see what is truly possible if you can a dream and work hard to achieve those dreams.
It’s also important that athletes such as you are backed by brands, what is it like to be supported by BMW?
I am so lucky to be able pursue a career that I love, travelling all over the world but there is no way that those dreams would have become a reality without the help and support from all of my sponsors like BMW. Having the support of world class brands who share like-minded goals and aspirations inspires me too on a daily basis to continually strive for improvement and progression. Additionally the support from brands like BMW helps to drive the visibility of Irish athletes, especially Irish female athletes and gives us the platform and resources that we can utilise to achieve our dreams.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m really looking forward to playing some professional events at home this summer, both the JP McManus Pro-am in Adare and the World Invitational at Galgorm Castle. I haven’t played in front of family and friends in Ireland since turning professional so that should be exciting. Irish fans are incredible to play in front of so hopefully I can give them something special to cheer about!
What is it about golf that you love?
I think that golf is special in the fact that every day presents its own unique set of challenges. There are so many variables at play whether that be the style of golf course, the weather or grass type, but they are combined to present a formidable test that challenges us to strive to get better and better each day. Golf can be a frustrating and humbling sport at times, even when you think you have an element mastered there’s always some other aspect that requires attention. I also love the fact that it’s a sport for life – it’s one of the few sports that can be played and enjoyed by all generations, allowing friends and families to spend time together no matter where in the world you are.
01. What car do you have? BMW X5
02. Favourite feature in the car? Panoramic sun roof
03. Favourite holiday destination? I love Australia, especially the weather and the way of life!
04. Favourite driving song? Giants by Dermot Kennedy
05. Favourite summer spot in Ireland? As kids we used to spend time with our relatives in Donegal, the scenery is incredible and will always hold a place close to my heart.
T&Cs: *Fuel consumption, CO2 emission figures and power consumption were measured using the methods required according to Regulation VO (EC) 2007/715 as amended. WLTP figures take into account the effects of any optional equipment. All figures are already calculated on the basis of the new WLTP test cycle. WLTP values are used as a basis for the definition of taxes and other vehicle-related levies that are (also) based on CO2 emissions and, where applicable, for the purposes of vehicle- specific subsidies. Further information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures is also available at bmw.ie. Further information about the official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger automobiles cars can be found in the ‘New Passenger Vehicle Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emission Guidelines’, which are available free of charge at all sales outlets and from The Society of the Irish Motor Industry, 5 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.