buying 2022 BMW i4 preview: 2 models, 80-kWh battery, 300 miles of range and more
The 2021 BMW M5 Competition is much easier to live with
Retuned suspension components make the BMW M5 a little softer, resulting in a much more comfortable daily driver.To give you some context, the previous M5 Competition was so stiffly sprung that it made this sport sedan almost unlivable day to day. Even in the suspension's default Comfort setting, you could feel every little bump and blemish. It was kind of a nightmare.
This story starts with a big caveat. I actually drove the camouflaged BMW i4 prototype pictured here, but I can't talk about that experience just yet. There are a bunch of details that BMW plans to keep under wraps until the i4 officially makes its US debut in a couple of weeks. Sorry, kids. Them's the breaks.
What can I tell you about the BMW i4 prototype I drove in Malibu last week? It's a promising preview of what's to come. Familiar, approachable and packed with a ton of new features and technology, the i4 represents a big step forward for BMW's electrification efforts.
Tested: 2021 BMW M4 Delivers What Matters
Do whatever it takes to ignore the new BMW M4's toothy grille and just drive it. Apparently, there's something about having a highly anticipated BMW M car that alters the atmosphere in Los Angeles. Months of blue skies and shorts weather ended as soon as our M4 test car arrived. Of course, correlation does not imply causation, but we're superstitious. A few years ago, a new M2 brought a massive storm during a multiyear drought, and now the M4 brings rain? You'd be a little'stitious too.
Battery, power and range
BMW divulged a few , though I can share a couple new pieces of information. For starters, BMW will offer two variants of the i4 in the US, likely with different power levels, though all i4s will use the same battery. The automaker says the i4's battery will be "around 80 kilowatt-hours" -- for reference, the smaller battery option is 79.2 kWh.
Ford’s Electric Truck Is First F-150 With Independent Rear Suspension
The electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning fully ditches the full-size pickup’s internal combustion engine, leaving in its place a frunk—you know, a front trunk. The amazing frunk is perhaps the most obvious visual result of the F-150’s electric transformation, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wholescale changes that Ford had to incorporate underneath the bodywork. A change in the F-150's rear suspension was one of these monumental modifications necessitated by electrification.
My best guess is that BMW will follow the trend of other automakers and offer single- and dual-motor versions of the i4. I'm told the i4 will produce around 500 horsepower -- likely in its higher spec -- and it can accelerate to 60 mph in around 4 seconds. BMW expects the range to be somewhere around 300 miles on the US EPA test cycle.
I can't tell you if the i4 seen here is the lower or higher spec, though I will draw your attention to the 255/35 front and 285/30 rear Pirelli P-Zero summer performance tires and 20-inch wheels. The only other thing I'm permitted to say right now is that the i4 has a variety of brake regeneration modes, which is a key point I'll definitely be revisiting later. Come back in a couple of weeks and I'll tell you all about how the i4 handles the tight, technical roads drizzled over the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu.
iDrive 8 tech
Along with the , the i4 will have one of BMW's first implementations of . This updated infotainment tech offers bolder graphics and a more intuitive menu structure, as well as improved natural-language voice controls, 5G connectivity, over-the-air updates and more. I didn't get a chance to really dig in and play with this tech, but the few inputs I made during my drive were met with immediate response, and visually speaking, going from iDrive 7 to iDrive 8 is like trading out your old Dell laptop for a new MacBook Pro.
2022 Lexus IS500 Prototype First Ride: Yep, It’s Got a V-8
Those of you waiting for the Lexus IS F sport sedan to return … keep waiting. And we don’t mean that in a vague, open-ended sense. While Lexus has no official plans to bring back the eight-cylinder track-ready F version of its compact IS sedan, it is about to release something that’s at least 90It is basically an IS350 F Sport model with the old IS F's 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine in place of the 3.5-liter V-6. Given how today's IS descends directly from the previous-generation model—whose lineup included a full F—the IS500 is kinda, sorta, a new IS F. Having just ridden in a prototype IS500, the capital-F feels are certainly there.
What's extra cool about iDrive 8 is that it's shown on two screens housed inside one massive, curved display. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster directly in front of the driver and a 14.9-inch display to the right. The transition between the screens and negative space is totally seamless, for a really clean look. Expect this setup to make its way throughout the BMW range over the next few years.
Looks like a 4, feels like a 4
The 4 in the i4's name is this EV's link to BMW's broader 4 Series range of cars. With its low-slung, four-door shape, it's no secret the i4 previews the general design direction of the upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe, huge grille and all. The overall proportions are about the same as a 4 Series coupe, though the four-door i4 is a bit longer. And hey, since the rear uses a liftback design, it's super easy to access the trunk and fold the rear seats flat to accommodate longer items.
Inside, the connection to the 4 Series will be apparent, with a familiar cabin layout. Sure, the i4 will have that massive iDrive display, but the center console, doors, steering wheel and vehicle controls will all mimic those of the gas-powered 4 Series range. Considering the interior is already pretty great, that bodes well for the i4.
2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Teased Shadily, Reveals Sleeker Form
Ahead of its global premiere, the all-new 2022 Honda Civic hatchback is being dangled in front of us. Honda released a teaser image of the five-door version of the 11th-generation Civic sedan, and the latest iteration of the popular compact hatchback will officially debut during a virtual concert event later this month. Based on theBased on the partially concealed side profile photo, in which the new Honda Civic hatchback is backlit by a sunset or sunrise, we can make out its more refined body. It now has a straight beltline that stretches from the rear quarter panel all the way into the nose, much like the sedan.
Coming very soon
Obviously, the i4 will face some incredibly , not only from the likes of Tesla, but from cars like the , , and more. It stands to reason the i4 will also be a tough sell alongside the iX, what with its more attractive interior and US customers' insatiable appetites for all things SUV.
That said, a big reason to buy the i4 could be how it drives. But until I'm allowed to spill the beans, you'll just have to take my word for it.
How the Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck Is so Darn Cheap .
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning caught our attention for two reasons: it is an electric full-size pickup, and it’s set to wear a starting price of $41,669 when it goes on sale in May 2022. Weeks after the electric Lightning was unveiled to the public, people are still talking about it, thanks to its relatively affordable pricing and solid performance. In fact, the Lightning is set to take the title as the quickest F-150 model thanks to its estimated 4.4-second 0-60-mph time. Credit the truck's two electric motors, which provide 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque.