Silence Is Golden
Paul Agnew test drives the BMW i4 eDrive40, a great performer with stunning looks – a car designed to be seen not heard. Photography: Peter Austin
Going electric. Is it such a big deal? Short answer: No. If you put your trust in BMW – and why on earth not – switching to an electric car makes sound sense and is very straightforward.
There are numerous advantages and you really don’t have anything to worry about.
There is no better example than the BMW i4 eDrive.
Is it quick off the mark? Is it sufficiently powerful? Does it go far enough on a charge?
How about 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, 340 hp and a range of up to 365 miles?
With emissions at zero and the UK already set up with close on 25,000 charging locations – incorporating 42,566 electric vehicle charging points according to Zap Map – these statistics must surely leave the doubters with nowhere to go.
It looks the real deal and handles with what can only be described as quiet efficiency. While it is currently making a big noise in the motoring world, this is a car to be seen, not heard.
The silence is golden across the range with BMW just announcing that order books have now opened for the eDrive35, making it the latest model to join the fully-electric BMW family (with a very attractive OTR price from £49,995).
All are painstakingly assembled at the BMW Group Munich Plant where it is expected that the production volume-share of fully-electric cars will increase to 50 per cent of the total manufactured volume in 2023.
I tested the BMW i4 eDrive40 with rear-wheel drive and one electric motor, while BMW also offers the M50 variant, complete with two motors and four-wheel drive.
With regards to technology and connectivity, there is a 12.3” digital cockpit instrument cluster sited within a curved 14.9” CID (Central Information Display). Quite stunning.
You’ll find BMW IconicSounds electric, remote software upgrades, Smartphone and Amazon Alexa integrations, adaptive recuperation, parking assistant, cruise control with braking function, BMW operating system ID8 software, BMW intelligent personal assistant, BMW navigation system and a couple of useful USB connections.
With regards to comfort and practicality, there are 18” light alloy wheels, double-spoke style bicolour, high-gloss black interior trim, high-gloss shadowline exterior trim, sport leather steering wheel, BMW iBlue elements throughout, sport seats as standard and acoustic glass.
And as for the overall driving performance? Awesome.
Although there is no engine noise, you can have ‘engine sound’ from none other than German film score composer Hans Zimmer – all operated via a driving experience switch!
Put your foot down – trust me this is one responsive, quick-off-the-mark, exhilarating ride – and the noise gets louder with the pitch rising as your speed increases.
BMW understand the importance of charging capabilities, both at home and in public. That’s why they’re offering either a complimentary standard Pod Point 7kW Home Charger with standard installation or £750 public charging credit for your BMW Charging account when you order an all-electric BMW before 30th June 2023*.
The standard Pod Point Home Charger offers the following benefits:
• Efficient charging compared to a domestic three-pin socket
• Expert Pod Point installation
• Access to the Pod Point app to view charging activity, track costs and schedule charging
As an alternative, you can opt for £750 credit towards BMW Charging instead:
• With BMW Charging, you can charge nationwide and across Europe in one of the largest and constantly growing public charging networks with over 300,000 charging points.
History suggests that BMW invariably get things right. So, perhaps it’s time for us all to venture with confidence toward an electric future?
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