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BMW ix vs. i4

Comparison between BMW iX and BMW i4

1. Introduction

BMW is one of the best known automakers in the world, delivering an array of expert cars and a background of high performing autos that are primary base. It's the reason that systematically they're ready to impress the generations and sustain the originality plus the buyers' expectation. Unavoidably BMW is embarking to muddle the market of electric vehicles and SUVs, by saying to be able to create the better release of the cars than their successors. Amongst the said models, BMW iX3 and i4 are the promised vehicles well, they're ready to reshuffle the class of executive SUV and the pattern of an electric car. This article will compare the two in the general plus the certain aspect. Beginning from the iX3 and i4's effectiveness of redefining the class, the design and interior approach, using the innovation they're sure the better and a utter confusion that new release should be better. Finally to the most decisive part is the impact of the two vehicles to electrical vehicle and car industry. (Rosa, 2022)

1.1. Overview of BMW iX

BMW iX comes from a generation of eco-conscious cars from BMW. The design is futuristic with rounded panels and the newest technology. The performance of the electric engine is comparable to the BMW X5, which is powered by a petrol engine. The BMW iX uses two electric engines with fourth-generation batteries and has an electrical consumption of about 100 kWh. This car is able to accelerate from 0-100 km in less than 5 seconds. With a full charge in 11 hours (using voltage 3 phase 11 kW), it has a range of 630 km, which is significant enough for this car segment. Mentioned by BMW, they wouldn't make this car as "M" or "i" version due to its high performance, but it is focusing on an eco-friendly car with sustainable material inside and outside of the car. Even the wool material used inside the cockpit is harvested by using solar power. With high pricing, it is expected to hit the market at the end of 2021. The design is quite different from other BMW series and might be polemical, but until the release date, it still remains as an optional car to buy. (Miri et al.2021) (Miri et al.2021)

1.2. Overview of BMW i4

The BMW i4 is the German luxury car maker's response to consumers who have been demanding an electric version of their sports sedan. The car is set to be released within the next year and will be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3, a car which has dominated the electric car market for the past couple of years. The i4 will be built on the new 4 series chassis, derived from the current 3 series and 8 series models. The car will come with several battery and powertrain options, including a 530 horsepower model which will be able to go 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds. This model is the equivalent of an M Performance engine seen in the traditional gas-powered BMWs. In terms of luxury and performance, the i4 will turn out to be a more practical but less luxurious alternative to the Porsche Taycan, another new competitor in the electric sports sedan market. The i4 will also use the newest version of BMW's eDrive technology. This will allow the car to have a realistic 300-mile range in the top model, comparable to the current Model 3, and future advancements will provide even more range. This car will truly be at the forefront of this technology, replacing the less efficient i3 and i8 models. The car is also predicted to have fast charging and relatively low weight, giving it competitive performance in comparison to other vehicles in its class. A BMW electric car would not be complete without good handling and performance, and the i4 has no shortage of either. The car will be all-wheel drive and have near 50-50 weight distribution, meaning it will handle much like a typical gasoline BMW sedan. This is also a difference to the Model 3, which features only rear-wheel drive and a somewhat awkward balance due to the lack of a front engine. Overall, consumers can expect the i4 to be an electric car catered to BMW enthusiasts who never want to sacrifice the luxury and handling that the brand is known for. (WU et al.)

2. Design and Features

The BMW iX is coming out in Summer 2022. It's likely to cost around £70,000 for the xDrive40 and over £100,000 for the iX M60. Both the 40 and M60 will outdo the i4 in terms of range - the 40 with a 257 mile range, and the M60 being capable of 365 miles. The iX xDrive 40 uses two electric motors delivering a combined 240kW/326bhp. This helps it to sprint from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. Step into a BMW iX M60 and that takes things to a new level. It's powered by the Sport model's 240kW rear motor, but uses an upgraded 200kW front motor delivering a combined 440kW/598bhp. With a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds, it beats an X5 M Competition by 0.1 seconds.

The iX carries over some design features from the new 4 Series, most notably the kidney grille, while the rest of the front is somewhat similar to an X3 or X5. The rest of the iX is a bit more distinct, with a more aerodynamic shape, a tail light bar stretching the width of the rear, a sweeping glass roof and a chunk of black plastic at the base of the doors which is actually functional in reducing stones being fired up and hitting the rear of the car.

The BMW iX: The BMW iX is a large SUV comparable in size to the BMW X5. A hi-tech look is created by slim LED lights front and back, and there's a blue accent panel along the bottom of the doors. The cabin has a clean, minimalist look, freeing up space inside, helped by a lack of transmission tunnel to get in the way. Panels of open-pore wood or crystal glass accentuate the interior design, and the BMW iX uses new, green materials for the leather and suede on the seats. A hexagonal steering wheel is a neat touch.

2.1. Exterior Design

Despite their outward appearance, both the BMW i4 and BMW iX have distinctive features that set them apart. The BMW iX, with its futuristic design, looks like an SUV from the next century. This car features a drag coefficient of 0.25, making it the most aerodynamic SUV at present. This sleek figure is due, in part, to the absence of door handles on the vehicle. The BMW iX will be the first car to use BMW's new minimal and simplistic logo, and it will feature lights at the front and back that are flush with the car. The BMW i4, in comparison, has the typical exterior of a 4-door sedan. However, this does not mean it was not built with sustainability in mind. The i4 Electric has a drag coefficient of 0.24, one-upping the aerodynamics of the BMW iX. Berlin has a prototype factory where the i4's lightweight body is being built, a large contribution to BMW's minimal CO2 emissions goal for 2030. The BMW 4 Series electric and the BMW iX also have differing wheels. The iX's "Air Performance Wheels" are the most aerodynamically designed wheels in BMW history. These wheels are quite distinct from typical car wheels, and they look similar to something you might find on a spaceship. The iX comes standard with 20" rims, 21" rims for options, and 22" rims for the more premium models. The BMW i4 features "Efficient Lightweight Wheels" which were designed with efficiency in mind. Spare wheels are not a standard feature for the BMW i4. Overall, both cars look great and have a high level of aerodynamic performance.

2.2. Interior Design

The BMW iX is equipped with automatic air conditioning with 4-zone control to regulate the car's temperature. It also has 3 levels of heated seats, which can be more comfortable in cold situations, as well as level 2 heated armrests and a level 2 heated steering wheel. The cup holders in this car can be heated or cooled, depending on the setting.

The seats of the BMW iX have armrests and thicker cushions compared to the BMW i4, providing more comfort when seated in this car. The second row has a center console and AC controls, making the passengers more comfortable.

BMW iX is a fully electric vehicle that provides a minimalist design to make it efficient and look simple inside. The dashboard only has a screen to provide the necessary information for the driver. The scrolling control on the right side of the steering wheel can be used to control the screen. It also has a panoramic sunroof to make the car feel wider and more spacious. The ambient lights in the car's interior can be changed depending on the situation. The voice command features in this car are supported by the intelligent BMW personal assistant. The speakers in this car use the Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.

2.3. Advanced Features

The iX or the i4 reach 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, the latter being slightly quicker but both being praised for their power delivery at higher speeds. This being a significant step up from the current offerings in EV from BMW, the i4 is a nice placeholder before the 5th iteration. Though the iX comes in RWD, next year the iX will be offered in AWD alongside the i4 with the iX utilizing 2 electric motors to enhance performance. Both vehicles will be offered in AWD and RWD. The iX uses the 5th Gen eDrive electric motor that was developed in-house and the i4 is using a single motor setup on the rear axle. With most electric cars, they offer a practical addition of Frunk space. The trunk in the i4 is quite large at 470 liters, whereas the iX due to its larger size has no trunk but it has a significant 500 liters more space than the i4 due to the vastly larger dimensions. A noteworthy addition to the iX and the i4 is the My Modes feature that changes the car's characteristics and designed to suit one's mood. The technical aspect of this feature is that it can control throttle response, steering dynamics, brake energy recuperation, DSC configurations, and regenerative brake settings and intensity. The 3 predefined modes feature COMFORT, SPORT, and ECO with a custom mode available for the driver's configuration. This helps the driver have their own personal car setup that could more than likely differ from another user of the same vehicle. This feature is a big selling point to modern EVs and matches the advanced electronics architecture of the cars themselves.

3. Performance and Efficiency

Performance is the area where electric vehicles are expected to shine, and in this context, the BMW iX and i4 both demonstrate admirable pursuit of the Ultimate Driving Machine ideal. Available only with all-wheel drive and a pair of motors at present, the iX boasts 498 hp and 564 lb-ft, while the i4 M50 has 536 hp and 586 lb-ft; the lesser i4 eDrive40 will offer up to 335 hp. i4 power peaks yield a 0-60-mph time of 3.9 seconds for the M50 and 5.7 seconds for the eDrive40. The iX takes 4.6 seconds. BMW pegs the i4 M50 top speed at a gentleman's 140 mph, while the eDrive40 will be limited to 118 mph. The iX is limited to 124 mph. Coming into play here and at many points throughout the rest of this story is the iX's considerably larger size and weight and how it nudges toward a different vehicle character compared with the i4. More on that to come. While the BMW Group has promised a hard turn to solid state battery tech within the next decade, today's lithium-ion chemistry still has some life left in it, and the i4 and iX's power density has BMW convinced it's the right tool for a few more years. This is the only way the power and performance calculations make any sense—a matter to which BMW's engineers were rather resigned when asked about it off the record. Chalk it up to weight. Despite pedestrian drag and wind resistance, a lighter car is more efficient and dynamic to drive. Step for step, BMW is conceding that adding a sprinkling of nuts and raisins to every Ultimate Driving Machine will not be possible in the EV era. But Munich has no intention of letting go of the wheel on pure excitement. Both the iX and i4 show statistical strength in the realm of economy and emissions related figures. When run through the EU test, the iX xDrive shows estimated ranges of 19.5–23.9 kWh/100 km (comb), and 0 g/km of CO2, and the i4 being slightly better at 16.5 kWh/100 km (comp), 0 g/km CO2 and 3.8–4.2 miles per kWh combined. And again, a key area of the BMW Group's persuasion will be the potential for gains in these figures to come. A modern day Subaru might start at 200 hp and only land a few more miles per gallon in 20 years time. This remains an engineering future worth investing in as time and development of cars without tailpipes is expected to yield great strides in what is possible. These efficiency figures should hold a broad appeal with multiple groups of the environmentally conscientious. And for customers of the iX and i4, the right hand side of the spec sheet presents a value proposition for low running costs and reduced taxation and import duty. But on real world EV driving experience and techniques for power savings, look out for more insight in part two where we get to the nitty gritty, and take the press of a BMW Group media drive onto the LAX tarmac.

3.1. Powertrain Options

BMW will offer an array of driving dynamics in these two electric models. In both the iX and i4 preview drive cars, our first taste will be of the rear-wheel drive models, although the top performance versions will be xDrive all-wheel drive. Both models' rear-wheel drive models will offer a single motor powertrain, but the technology behind it is very different. In the i4, the rear drive motor is the latest in a long line of BMW eDrive units, but the iX introduces the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology that combines the motor electronics and transmission into a very compact unit. This has enabled a reduction in the number of components required, and the motor used in the iX is the most powerful and efficient so far for a BMW. The single motor powertrain in the i4 offers an output of 335hp and 430Nm of torque, which enables a 0-62mph time of around 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 118mph. The iX will come in xDrive40 and xDrive50 guises, but the UK will only get the xDrive40. This utilizes a two-motor system with the front and rear motors having the same power output to provide intelligent all-wheel drive as and when it's needed. This allows a combined output of 326hp and 630Nm of torque – more than the 330i. The xDrive40 iX will complete the 0-62mph sprint in 6.1 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 124mph. The extra power available in the iX will also be reflected in its high-performance versions – M Performance will push up power for both motors to around 500hp, and a fully-fledged iX M may even see a combined 800hp. This is a level of power normally only seen in high-end renditions of BMW M Models, but this technology will be available in the cooking version of the iX, so there is real potential for rapid increases in power in the future.

3.2. Acceleration and Top Speed

When comparing the acceleration and top speed of both the BMW iX and the BMW i4 with each other, customers should be aware of the situation that both cars are not cheap. Even if BMW labeled the iX as the new 'technology flagship', it does still not offer the performance of flagship models in acceleration and top speed. With the xDrive50 variant, BMW claims the new iX can do 0-62mph in a decent 4.6 seconds. This is actually faster than the new Mercedes-Benz EQB, which is simply just a re-skinned GLB. The Mercedes can achieve the same speed in 4.9 seconds. The acceleration also matches the private by a second. BMW states the top speed for all variants of the iX is limited to 124mph. For the BMW i4, which is technically just a 4-Series Gran Coupe re-branded and re-developed into an electric car with a similar sized footprint to the new iX, the performance is actually more impressive. The eDrive40 model, which isn't an M Sport model (it's just a naming convention for BMW electric cars), it does 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. This is slower than the Vauxhall Corsa-e. The i4 M50 however is a lot faster. With an electric motor on each axle for an all-wheel drive setup, it achieves the same speed in just 3.9 seconds. This is faster than the new M4 which requires 4.2 seconds. The top speed for any i4 model is 118mph.

3.3. Battery Range and Charging

The BMW i4 features a larger capacity battery than the iX. The i4's 83.9kWh battery is significantly larger than the iX's 70kWh battery. This means that the i4 delivers a longer range, providing up to 590km on a single charge. In comparison, the iX delivers around 425km on a single charge. When looking at battery range, the i4 is the clear winner in this category. When it comes to taking a trip between super fast cars, the essential part of the iX and i4, the issue of charging comes into play. The i4 comes with an 11kW integrated charger that provides a charging rate between 7kW and 11kW. This will allow the i4's battery to be charged from 0-100% full in 8.5 hours at an 11kW charging station. It's worth noting that it is also compatible with DC fast charging so that 10 minutes of charge can provide 164km of driving range. With the iX, it is also equipped with an 11kW integrated charger, but unfortunately, the battery is not capable of accepting an 11kW charge. This means that the maximum charge the iX can achieve is 7kW and will take 11.5 hours to fully charge and there's no compatibility for DC fast charging. From this, we can see that the i4 is the more practical choice in terms of recharging the battery as it takes less time to charge and has compatibility to rapidly charge the battery. With its longer battery and quick charge times, the i4 is also the more practical choice out of the two if you are planning to travel long distances.

4. Price and Availability

In comparing the i4 to the iX, the i4 might be a more affordable alternative for those considering a transition to an electric vehicle or for customers selecting a more premium car but cannot justify the cost of an SUV.

The iX will see itself being positioned as a more premium model electric SUV, offering an edge upmarket against its traditional combustion-engined counterparts such as the X3 or X5. This mindset is reflected in the pricing, with the iX starting at around approximately $120,000 AUD – approximately double that of the i4. At present, there's no official word for those considering the iX EV at a more affordable price, but it is expected that the price point is likely to decline further as the ongoing trend in electric vehicle battery technology makes technology more affordable.

Pricing Comparison: Early prices for the i4 within Australia are rather problematic to pinpoint. Globally, the price of the i4 has been selected at $58,300. The variance in that quantity pertains to the $58,900 figure being the USA dollar conversion, and BMW Australia's stated figure being $300. As the suitable range still remains unknown, we can assume it to be between $58,000 - $60,000 AUD.

4.1. Pricing Comparison

But these are just the base prices. What will these prices offer you in terms of the differences in specification up to the top-level models and optional extras? Due to the fact that the iX is the more recently launched car, it means that it's targeted to the most recent generation of electric cars, so technology and general production processing has moved on significantly between these two cars. This means that future proofing in the iX will be greater than the i4, hence why there are greater expectations in terms of price.

Prices of these two models are fairly competitive in the premium electric vehicle segment, but the iX starts with a higher base price than the i4. BMW's new iX SUV has been priced from £69,905, which is around £15,000 more than the i4 saloon, which would set you back at least £55,000. Admittedly, these prices are significant sums of money, but they are looking to be more and more reasonable as time goes on when evaluated against rivals' cars.

4.2. Availability and Release Dates

The production of the i4 was confirmed in June 2018, but the exact release date is currently unavailable. The iX, however, is set to begin production in the second half of 2021, and it will be released shortly afterwards. This ensures that the iX will be available earlier than the i4. Although release dates may not be the primary factor considered when choosing a new car, it is certainly something to bear in mind. With the prevalence of tariffs enforced on imported car parts, the uncertainty of Brexit, and the constant oscillation of CO2 penalties, there is potential for car prices to increase. An earlier release date would protect you from such price fluctuations. This may also be a point to contemplate before fixing your decision to purchasing one of these cars on finance, as variable rate loans could be affected by the aforementioned fluctuations in car prices.


Rosa, D. I. S. "Industry 4.0 and the global automobile context: the german situation and the specific BMW's case until the BMW and Daimler's Joint Venture." (2022). ucp.pt

Miri, Ilyès, Abbas Fotouhi, and Nathan Ewin. "Electric vehicle energy consumption modelling and estimation—A case study." International Journal of Energy Research 45, no. 1 (2021): 501-520. wiley.com

WU, Z. H. E. Q., NGUYEN, P. Q., PHANKASEMSAN, I., and WOLF, E. "Driving Sustainability and Electric Vehicles Evolution: Tesla Company's Success Strategies." dspace.fcu.edu.tw . fcu.edu.tw