BMW confirms bumper electric car line-up for NZ

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Words: Matthew Hansen
2 Jun 2021

Hot on the heels of the unveiling earlier this morning of its new i4 M50, BMW New Zealand has confirmed it will be bringing both the standard i40 and the M50 performance variant into the country.

The announcement also confirmed specifications for the upcoming iX electric SUV. The four new i models represent the brand’s first bespoke fully electric vehicles.

The all-new i4 is set to land here in the first quarter of 2022, with pricing to be confirmed closer to its arrival. The M50 will be joined by a less powerful entry level eDrive40 model packing 250kW of power, 430Nm of torque, and a range of 590km.

Since this morning BMW has confirmed the M50’s full performance outputs. The brand’s first electric M-Performance product produces 400kW of power from its dual motors, with torque peaking at a dizzying 795Nm. It rushes to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds — a fair bit quicker than the standard i4's 5.7 seconds.

This torque figure is only available when drivers use the car’s Sport Boost function, which isn’t dissimilar to Mercedes’ ‘EQ Boost’ function. This gives the car heightened performance for a 10-second burst.

The i4 will come with BMW’s latest battery tech, capable of accepting 164km worth of electrical charge in just 10 minutes from a 10 per cent charge level (but only when connected to high-output charging systems).

The cabin is a particularly pleasant looking place to be. BMW New Zealand names Harman Kardon surround sound audio, heated and cooled seats, Vernasca leather, ambient lighting, and a sunroof as being fixtures on Kiwi cars. Although it’s unclear how many of these will be standard.

The curved screen behind the steering wheel packs a 12.3-inch information display and a larger 14.9-inch touchscreen. Through these occupants will be able to control the aforementioned audio, the three-zone climate control, and other tech toys.

Meanwhile, the brand has added further detail to its already confirmed local launch of the iX SUV — one of BMW’s most advanced tech projects yet, and simultaneously one of their most controversially styled vehicles ever.

Two models of iX will be offered; an xDrive40 and an xDrive50. Pricing hasn’t yet been confirmed, but BMW has confirmed spec.

The more upscale 50 model gets superior charging capabilities (being 200kW charging enabled, compared to the 40’s 150kW cap), and more power — 385kW to the entry level model’s 240kW. Its range is higher, too, at 630km to the 40’s 425km.

The announcement also includes confirmation of a go-faster iX M60 variant, which is said to produce over 440kW of power. While the other two models are landing in the fourth quarter of 2021, the M60 will join the line-up “at a later date”. Translation; expect it to be revealed before the end of 2021.

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