It seems like BMW will be implementing a major overhaul of its strategy, which should result to the arrival of electrified versions of its three current models. One of these models would be an electric variant of the upcoming BMW 4 Series GT, according to a report by Autocar.
Citing people privy with BMW’s plans, Autocar reported that the new 4 Series GT is planned to directly replace the current BMW 3 Series GT and indirectly supplant the 4 Series Gran Coupé, which has been experiencing low demand since its inception. This strategy would be similar to a plan involving the BMW 6 Series GT, which is set to replace the BMW 5 Series GT in the lineup this year. BMW is planning to launch an electric version of the 6 Series GT in 2018.
Meanwhile, for the new 4 Series GT, the German premium carmaker will introduce the conventionally powered versions in 2019, to be followed by electric and plug-in hybrid variants. To be underpinned by newly developed platform for the eighth-generation 3 Series, the electric version of the 4 Series GT – set to compete against the Tesla Model 3 -- could be up for sale as early as 2020 in the United Kingdom. According to the report, the performance level of the electrically powered 4 Series GT would be more or less similar to the top-performing version of the current 3 Series GT – the BMW 335d GT, which offers the 317 bhp of max output and 630 Nm of peak torque. This means that the electric motor system for the battery-powered 4 Series GT should have a total system output of around 350 bhp to match the performance of the top BMW 335d GT.
According to Autocar, BMW is considering two electric driveline options for the new electric 4 Series GT. One of these involves a front-mounted electric motor, a fixed-ratio gearbox and a so-called electric propeller shaft. With power sent to the rear wheels, this option could result to the best possible weight distribution. The second option involves employing two electric motors -- one on the front and another on the rear – similar to the setup on the electrically powered X3. This option allows for front- or four-wheel drive systems.
The electric version of the new 4 Series GT is conceived to travel up to 500 km (311 miles) on a single charge and is expected to have a starting price of less than £40,000 in the UK. Before introducing the electric version of the 4 Series GT, BMW will be launching battery-powered variants of a Mini hatchback (Mini Cooper E) in 2018 and of the third-generation X3 (BMW X3 Electric) in 2019. Among these three new electric versions, the battery-powered 4 Series GT is considered as the centerpiece.