BMW i4 Shows More Grille

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BMW's answer to the Tesla Model 3 is taking shape.

It's been nearly a year since the BMW Concept i4 debuted, previewing the German automaker's answer to the Tesla Model 3. As the electric sedan enters its final testing stages, a new prototype has been caught by our spy photographers prancing in the snow with less camouflage than before.

Compared to our last sighting, the closed-off grille is now partially visible. Yes, before you ask, it will be similar in size to the polarizing grille that adorns the new combustion-powered BMW 4 Series. The prototype is still fully camouflaged but most of the plastic cladding is now gone, giving us a clearer look at the i4's overall shape and sleek lines.

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We also get to see the i4's flush door handles for the first time that mimics the design of the door handles seen on the BMW iX flagship SUV. Since the i4 will be based on the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, the headlights look identical to its combustion-powered sibling. Elsewhere, the side mirrors aren't covered up revealing the i4's production dark metallic red paintwork.

When it goes on sale, the BMW i4 will be available with three outputs. At the bottom of the range, the entry-level i435 will be powered by a single electric motor sending around 280 horsepower to the rear wheels and cost around $45,000.

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Slotting above it will be the mid-tier i440 with an increased output of 330 hp. Topping the range will be the i4 M50, which will use a dual motor setup sending 530 hp to all four wheels.

Power will be provided by an 80-kWh battery enabling the i4 to sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds. Top speed will be limited to 124 mph, while the electric driving range will be around 372 miles based on the WLTP cycle. The production BMW i4 is expected to debut later this year. While the electric sedan will take on the Tesla Model 3, BMW is also preparing a larger i7 sedan that will rival the recently unveiled Audi e-tron GT.

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