If you’ve seen some of BMW’s recent EV concepts, it would be easy to assume the German automaker plans to give its long-range electric cars some pretty radical styling. From the 2017 i Vision Dynamics concept to 2018’s Vision iNext concept, they’ve been pretty out there. But as you can see in these spy shots, when the BMW i4 goes on sale, it will actually look a lot more like a regular car.
Granted, this isn’t a huge surprise. Last year, Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW’s head of design, said to expect the brand’s future EVs to look a lot like their gas-powered counterparts. Still, this is one of the first times we’ve seen just how normal the i4 will actually look. If we didn’t know better, we’d probably have assumed the car shown here is the new 4 Series Gran Coupe.
With the front end covered up, there’s little if anything that suggests we’re looking at an electric vehicle. We assume the production version will have its own interpretation of BMW’s twin-kidney grille, but will it look like the version we saw on the iNext concept? All we can say right now is that the regular BMW grille this concept looks like it has appears to be a plastic cover attached to the front end.
Move to the side, and it immediately becomes clear we’re looking at an electric car. After all, it clearly says “Electric Test Vehicle” on the driver’s door. It also looks like the door handles have been integrated into the bodywork for better aerodynamics. It isn’t entirely clear, though, how they’ll work. Around back, there’s a set of fake exhaust tips that appear to be painted onto the bumper, further confirming that this is an EV.
With the i4 set for a 2021 launch, don’t expect to see it officially revealed in the next few months. Instead, the Frankfurt auto show in September seems like a more likely option. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about the powertrain and projected range then.