With the i4 Gran Coupe, BMW has put a striking electric coupe on the road with its own accents. Even the first visual impressions bring to life the typical characteristics of the Bavarian engine works. The self-predicted "driving pleasure" is tailor-made for the BMW offspring with its sleek appearance and successful design. The transformation of the manufacturer with a passion for conventional engine construction into a premium supplier of electric cars has taken place continuously over the past decade.
The beginning of the sub-brand BMW i in 2013 was still relatively modest with the compact model i3. The rational and rather sober design of the i3 did not find favor with everyone. The originally sporty and performance-oriented BMW lovers were more likely to make friends with the BMW i8. Both models are already history. BMW is currently reflecting on its traditional and successful design concepts, which represent a high recognition value. Equipped with very powerful electric motors, the new series of i3, i4 and i7 as well as SUV variants with the designation iX are experiencing a new upswing among BMW customers and newcomers to electromobility. Since 2018, all i models have been consistently offered at all BMW dealers and the restriction to a few BMW i agents has been lifted.
An interesting symbiosis of attractive design and emission-free mobility can be found in the Gran Coupe. Behind the mighty BMW kidney grille, the line runs in a flat silhouette and ends gently towards the short tail. Important details underline the elegant lines, such as the very fine pillars, the frameless windows or the short overhangs on the front axle. Typical BMW and that makes the coupe stand out in the street scene.
Large format appearance
The BMW coupe, which weighs more than 2 tons, is equipped with a large 81,5 kWh battery and relies on a rear-wheel drive with a 340 hp electric motor. Among the model variants on offer, this version is predestined for long tours with an expected range of over 400 kilometers. Here in the real north, the temperatures in winter are still well below 10 degrees outside temperature. Accordingly, the real ranges in the Nordic winter can still be achieved at a good 300 kilometers to the next charging point.
Arrived at the charging point, BMW shows the competition how to achieve fast charging values with a 400-volt on-board network. With a peak of up to 170 kW, we were able to charge quickly with the superchargers. As soon as more than half of the capacity is charged, the values drop continuously as usual. But in a practical comparison, the coupe only needs a short downtime. This can also be seen with 11 kW charging stations, where the charging losses are also only up to 10% in winter.
The coupe also collects plus points for the long tours, under the electronically controllable tailgate, 470 liters of loading volume are sufficient for an extended trip. Even more space is achieved with the foldable, three-part backrest. The extension brings a maximum Boot capacity of 1.300 liters. Although the Grand Coupe is equipped with very comfortable front seats, the rear seats can get tight for tall people over 1,80 m tall.
Curved display and diverse apps
At BMW, a lot of care is put into an optimized driver's seat. The new touch display nestles in a gentle curve towards the driver and is peppered with a whole era of setting options. You have to swipe through all the submenus in order to adjust the correct setting. The easiest way is to drag the individually most important assistance systems directly to speed dial areas and control them directly.
After that, the focus is on relaxed cruising. Depending on your own taste and route, all driving programs from ECO to the Sport program allow you to call up the full performance spectrum of the coupe. The sporty coupe is designed for extensive tours on interesting long-distance routes, here the straights are completed in a sporty manner and the curves are driven as if on rails with very good feedback from the steering. Inside, a clear smooth running and balance is noticeable.
Of course, the prices are also sporty, for the Gran Coupe i4 40 we drive, the list price is currently 59.800 euros (March 2023). But you get a far more interesting coupe than with a comparatively conservative-looking Tesla. BMW has found its way back to an ambitious design paired with an attractive chassis.
With the Gran Coupe, BMW has combined traditional values with an attractive coupe design. The i40 shines even in sport mode with consumption values thanks to aerodynamic design and new engine technology. From our point of view, the high range in practical operation combined with the sporty chassis classify the i40 as the reference in its class in the 2023 model year.
Practical test 2023
Credits: Recordings by venevmedia
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