Are electric cars the future, or are they a fad? That is the question many automakers are grappling with as they wrestle with government mandates and consumer skepticism. A new report suggests that BMW hasn’t given up yet, and may debut a new all-electric sports coupe at the LA Auto Show called the BMW i4.
The BMW i4 coupe could be based on the upcoming BMW i3 all-electric sedan (with optional range extender?) according to a report in French car magazine l’Automobile. The BMW i4 would use a carbon-reinforced chassis and body to offset some of the extra weight from the batteries, and I assume it will keep the rear-wheel drive setup of the i3 as well.
An all-electric BMW coupe that isn’t the fantastically-expensive i8 supercar? I can totally get down with that. Though just a rumor for now, pricing is rumored to be well above the i3’s target price tag of around $50,000. BMW has targeted a sub-8 second 0-60 mph time for the i3, so I for one assume a BMW EV sports coupe would be at least a second or two quicker.
It is fair to say that BMW is taking a broader approach to fuel efficiency than many other automakers, touting advances in everything from electric turbochargers to their first-ever front-wheel drive hybrids. Right now BMW is testing a fleet of electric MINI-E coupes in their home country as a followup to the original MINI-E lease program. The EV programs at the Bavarian Motor Works are alive and well…at least for now.
Is it a good idea for BMW to stick with expensive-but-sporty EVs as other automakers like Audi pull back?