After a few months of patient waiting, those keen to see a ‘proper’ BMW take up an electric powertrain on Malaysian roads can now put their names down for an i4 eDrive40 M Sport, which now boasts an on-the-road price of RM389,800.
Obviously, the pricing is with the government’s EV incentives in place, which now exempts all electric passenger cars from import duty and excise duty. Owners will also not be required to pay any road tax until beyond 2025.
As a value proposition, it certainly is very compelling, coming in at just a few thousand Ringgits less than a 430i M Sport (Coupe), which current goes for RM396k with a 50% SST discount. In fact, the i4's listed price is inclusive of BMW’s 5-year Extended Warranty and Service Package, so opting out of that (if possible) for the standard 2-year coverage plan will slash it even further.
Along with the iX3 and iX, the i4’s battery is covered by a separate 8-year warranty. Phew!
The BMW i4 is one of those cars you’ve seen making official appearances in Malaysia, yet have not heard that many details about. With its price and details on its final specification now published, the sleek four-door EV is finally, truly here.
The 3rd fully electric entry into BMW Malaysia’s zero emissions portfolio is obviously based on the G26 4 Series Gran Coupe, but crucially has had its petrol/diesel engine replaced with an electric motor and underfloor lithium battery.
BMW have not messed with the styling too much with only very subtle hints that this isn’t your typical 4 Series. It’s a more restrained visual treatment than was given to their other EV convert, the iX3, from which this i4 takes its powertrain tech.
That said, the automaker has endowed the i4 with a little more power and torque with its single rear-mounted electric motor (yes, it’s RWD) delivering a punchy 340PS and 430Nm of torque for a 0-100km/h sprint of 5.7 seconds.
Coupled to an impressively large capacity 83.9kWh battery, it should have pretty epic endurance with WLTP cycle testing yielding a published range of 590km on a single charge.
As usual, it supports AC (up to 11kW) and faster DC charging (up to 200kW, 50kW more than the iX) with the latter capable of refilling its energy reserves from between 10% and 80% in just 31 minutes.
Inside looks awfully familiar to the G26 4 Series or even the G20 3 Series, however instead more traditionally shaped instrument binnacle housing a digital instrument cluster, the i4 features a single curved panel that houses a 12.3-inch panel for the driver and a 14.9-inch touchscreen just above the centre stack.
Other cabin highlights include a 360-degree camera, a Qi wireless charger, 3-zone climate control, and a 525-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 17-speakers.
Buyers can also choose between Black, Mocha, or Tacora Red (our favourite) for the Sensatec faux leather upholstery. The M Sport pack also adds the usual assortment of badges, aluminium pedals, and a nicer steering wheel.
BMW’s full suite of active safety and driver assist features are also on deck, including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)l, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go.
For now, exterior colour options include Mineral White (pictured), Black Sapphire, and Dravit Grey, though favourites like Portimao Blue, Sanremo Green, and Brooklyn Grey will be coming later this year.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.