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BMW i4 Has The Tesla Model 3 In Its Sights

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Hot weather testing for BMW’s upcoming Tesla Model 3 rival has begun.

BMW has officially declared war on Tesla. Originally, the German automaker aimed to offer as many as 12 new fully electric models by 2025, but increased competition in the EV segment has forced BMW to reschedule this target to 2023, which is ambitious, to say the least.

We recently learned that fully electric variants of the 5 Series and 7 Series are coming. But before then, BMW is preparing to unleash the iNext flagship SUV and the i4 electric sedan. We got our first look at a prototype BMW i4 back in January, and now hot weather testing has begun for BMW's Tesla Model 3 rival.

The i4 prototype is still covered in camouflage, but it’s clear the shape will look a lot like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Not that we’re complaining, because BMW’s Gran Coupe models often look stunning, but this means the design will look more conventional than its i3 and i8 siblings.

Based on the manufacturer’s CLAR modular architecture, the i4 is expected to form part of the 4 Series Gran Coupe lineup and be built alongside the regular 4 Series Gran Coupe. Of course, there are still some visual changes to distinguish it from the regular 4 Series Gran Coupe such as a unique kidney grille used on BMW’s electric i models since it doesn’t have a combustion engine that needs cooling down. The ride height also appears to be higher than the 4 Series Gran Coupe to accomodate the battery pack.

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As for technical specifications, reports suggest there will be two variants of the i4 with 60- or 80-kWh battery packs, and it will also be available with AWD or RWD. BMW has confirmed the i4 will deliver a range of over 372 miles based on the new WLTP cycle, and the most powerful version will sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in four seconds and hit a top speed of over 124 mph. While testing appears to be at an advanced stage, production of the i4 won’t start until 2021 at BMW’s Munich plant.

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