With the renouncing earlier this month of the i3 and with i8 production having ended two years ago, BMW has resumed its electric vehicle strategy for South Africa with the confirmation of pricing for the i4 and iX3.
Slotting-in above the Mini Cooper SE as the BMW Group’s third EV in South Africa after the iX and of course the iX3, the i4 touches down in M50 guise only with no plans afloat to bring the entry-level eDrive 40 to market yet.
Unveiled last year as the effective electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the i4 M50 appears almost identical to the comparative M440i xDrive on first glance, but betrays it’s EV identity in the form of the sealed kidney grille and lack of rear exhaust outlets.
For South Africa, the M50 comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, the M adaptive suspension and tri-zone climate control, as well as Vernasca leather seats, ambient lighting, the upgraded Harman Kardon sound system and a panoramic sunroof.
Also standard is the Curved Display from the XM Concept that combines the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with the new 8.0 operating system enabled 14.9-inch iDrive infotainment system resplendent with over-the-air updates, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and BMW’s latest Personal Assistant.
As for motivation, the i4 M50 employs an 83.9-kWh battery powering two electric motors mounted on the front and rear axles, meaning an electric xDrive all-wheel-drive configuration.
Outputting 350kW/729Nm, the M50 not only sports launch control, but also what BMW calls a Sport Boost function that ups power and torque, for ten seconds, to 400kW/795Nm.
Able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, the i4 M50 has a claimed range of 510 km and can be charged using the on-board 11 kW charger, or from a fast charging station delivering up to 200 kW.
Restyled in August last year as part of the mid-life facelift afforded to the X3, the iX3 not only becomes the most accessible all-electric BMW SUV as it slots-in below the iX, but also in South Africa now that the i3 is no longer being made.
Aside from the grille, it appears otherwise identical to the X3, but comes as standard with the otherwise optional standard Matrix LED headlights, the M Sport Package and model specific 20-inch alloy wheels.
Unlike the i4, the iX3 keeps the previous BMW Live Cockpit Professional setup comprising the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and iDrive display.
It does, however, get the same interior revisions as the X3, plus the standard fitting of Vernasca leather upholstery, Adaptive Cruise Control, Park Assist and a choice of two trim levels; Inspiring that boasts a panoramic glass roof, electric seats and tri-zone climate control, and Impressive that gets a Heads-Up Display, the M Sport steering wheel and a Harman Kardon sound system.
Up front, the iX3’s 80-kWh battery delivers 210kW/400Nm to the rear wheels, enough for a limited top speed of 180 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.
The claimed range is 460 km with the standard charger being an 11 kW unit, however, plugged-in to a 150 kW fast charger results in a waiting time of 34 minutes from 0-80%. A range of 100 km is said to be available after 10 minutes wait.
In terms of pricing, the i4 M50 retails from R1 600 000 and the iX3 from R1 290 000, with both sticker prices including a five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan and an eight-year/100 000 km battery warranty.