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i-phwoar BMW has released their new all-electric i4 saloon and it is stunning

There is loads of room in the front and the back and while the sloping roof may hinder a few taller passengers, there is plenty of space to fit a four- or five-person family.

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The BMW i4 is powerful, sleek and silent

The BMW i4 is powerful, sleek and silent

The BMW i4 is powerful, sleek and silent

A lucky few motoring journalists were invited to Kilkenny this week to get behind the wheel of one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2022.

As BMW waltzes through the electrification of their fleet (i3, iX, iX3), this week was the turn of the i4. Think 4 Series Gran Coupé without the engine!

This is a stunning five-door saloon with the hallmark styling of the popular 4 Series.

The gigantic grille dominates the front view and is completely closed off, which makes it even more prominent than an ICE version, which is a good thing.

The rear has been tweaked also because, well, there’s no need for exhaust pipes. Other than that, it is almost identical to the regular 4 Series, which got a major makeover in 2020.

There is a bigger change inside with the introduction of the latest generation infotainment technology, which has been lifted from the iX SUV, including its massive, curved display.

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The BMW i4 interior

The BMW i4 interior

The BMW i4 interior

The screen sweeps across more than half of the dashboard and includes a 12.3-inch instrument screen behind the girthy steering wheel and a 14.9-inch touchscreen over the centre of the dash. It houses a crisp, slick, user-friendly system that is far superior than most cars on the market.

In fact, the entire cabin is made of the finest materials and designed beautifully. It’s big too, by the way.

There is loads of room in the front and the back and while the sloping roof may hinder a few taller passengers, there is plenty of space to fit a four- or five-person family.

And then there is the boot. Normally sacrificed to house a battery to power the engine, BMW has left a massive 470 litres to play with here. While I only had it for a short road test, the back roads of Thomastown were soaked up by this very comfortable and stable car.

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It loves to corner and never feels like wobbling, but a true test will be on the motorway, which we’ll have to wait to try out until later in the year.

The acceleration is nothing short of relentless and eerily silent. There is a single 340hp electric motor that drives the rear wheels and boasts a 5.7-second 0-100kmh time. The all-important range is close to 400km.

BMW claims more, but realistically you shouldn’t plan for more than 380km unless you are nursing the accelerator. But nobody wants to live like that when you have an i4 in your driveway.

This is a fast, beautiful, powerful beast with oodles of street cred that has a year-long waiting list. A handful of lucky Irish drivers will soon have them sitting in their driveways. Later this year I hope to have a press car sitting in my own driveway.

I will never be able to own one, but for those who can afford it the i4 is a game-changer for the niche EV executive saloon market.

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