BMW is adding AWD and RWD options to its i4 and i7 EVs this year

BMW USA just shared a model update for summer 2023 that includes two new EV variants consumers should see delivered before year’s end. First, BMW is introducing a lower priced all-wheel drive (AWD) version of its i4 Gran Coupe, plus a rear-wheel drive (RWD) version of the new i7 EV. Those models will also feature a new operating system from BMW called iDrive 8.5.

Like nearly all of its German competitors, BMW is slowly transitioning into an all-electric brand, and it’s starting to see some of the fruits of its labor. In Q1 of this year, the legacy automaker saw EV sales double in growth, setting the pace as its main driver in sales for the rest of the fiscal year.

Much of those sales were led by BMW’s i4 EV – one of its longer running models which currently exists in two single-motor variants as well as a souped up, dual-motor, M technology version. The i4 has since been joined by the iX SUV and the i7 – an EV whose M version BMW states is its most-powerful to date.

With an i5 now being teased, there’s plenty more EV innovation in the pipeline, but BMW is simultaneously looking at its current lineup and delivering more options to US consumers.

BMW to deliver two new EV variants to US this year

Per BMW’s summer update, consumers will soon see a fourth variant of the i4 EV. The automaker has introduced the i4 xDrive40 – positioned between the dual-motor i4 M50 and the single-motor i4 eDrive40. Here are the pertinent specs:

  • 80.7 kWh (net) battery capacity
  • 396 hp and 443 lb-ft torque
  • 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.9 seconds
  • Max recharge rate of 205 kW (DC fast charger)
  • BMW estimated 307 mile range (18″ wheels), 282 miles estimated range w/ 19″ wheels

The BMW i4 xDrive40 EV is expected to arrive in Q3 of this year as a 2024 model and will start at a base MSRP of $61,600 (plus $995 destination and handling fees). For comparison, the 2023 i4 eDrive40 starts at an MSRP of $57,100, and the 2023 M50 starts at $68,700.

US consumers saw initial deliveries of the new i7 EV late last year, but BMW is already introducing yet another variant to help expand its lineup. Later this year, the two perviously announced AWD versions of the i7 will be joined by a RWD option called the i7 eDrive50.

This EV will feature BMW’s single GEN5 motor on its rear axle, delivering 449 horsepower. It will start at an MSRP of $105,700 (plus $995 destination and handling), which is significantly lower that than the i7 xDrive60, which starts at $119,300. The single motor option should begin deliveries in the US this fall.

Lastly, BMW offered a sneak peak of its latest operating system, iDrive 8.5 (seen above). This new OS will be added during the production of select BMW models beginning this July, including the i4 EVs and the 7 series. Per BMW:

A new home screen with clearly arranged functions offers greater ease of use on the BMW Curved Display. The new zero-layer principle means that all relevant functions and information are shown on a single level, making it possible to select a desired function without first having to enter a submenu. Instead, live widgets appear in a vertical arrangement on the driver’s side of the user interface, accessible with a touch of a finger.