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BMW i4 eDrive35 entry grade revealed, Australian plans unclear

BMW has revealed a new entry version of the electric i4 fastback in North America, with less power and range but a lower entry price.

Called the i4 eDrive35, this new entry model is yet to be confirmed for an Australian launch, according to a company spokesman. Were it to come here, it would shape up as a closer price-point competitor to the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

The i4 eDrive35 is priced from $US51,400 ($A73,191) before delivery and handling fees in the States, which undercuts the i4 eDrive40 in that market by around $US4000 ($A5773).

For context, the i4 eDrive40 in Australia costs $A99,990 before on-road costs.

The BMW i4 eDrive35 is powered by a single electric motor sending an “estimated” 209kW and 400Nm to the rear wheels. This is 41kW and 30Nm less than the singular electric motor in the i4 eDrive40.

The smaller motor is mated to a battery pack with an energy content of 70.2kWh. By contrast the i4 eDrive40 has an 84kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

This smaller battery pack in the i4 eDrive35 obviously translates to a shorter range, with BMW claiming 418km according to EPA testing, compared to 484km for the i4 eDrive40 on the same US EPA testing.

By contrast, the BMW i4 eDrive40 has a rated range of 590km on the more lenient WLTP test cycle used in Europe.

The i4 eDrive35 also has a maximum DC charging speed of 180kW, down from 200kW DC in the eDrive40. BMW claims the eDrive35 can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in 32 minutes.

The German automaker says that standard and optional features in the North American-specification i4 eDrive35 are the same as the i4 eDrive40. It’s unclear if this will translate to the Australian-spec model if it does actually launch locally.

Inside, drivers can interact with the BMW Curved Display housing a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch central touchscreen in the same driver-focused surface.

The BMW i4 eDrive35 also has over-the-air updates and the full range of available ConnectedDrive digital services in the US, including the controversial heated seat subscription plan.

Production of the 2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022 at the carmaker’s plant in Munich. This is the same factory where Australian-spec i4 models are made.

The first units of the i4 eDrive35 are slated to arrive in the US in the first quarter of 2023, BMW says.

On more of a local front, BMW has upped the price of the flagship i4 M50 xDrive by $5000, which now starts at $129,900 before on-road costs. The i4 eDrive40 still costs $99,990 before on-road costs, as mentioned above.

MORE: Everything BMW i4

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