As the automotive world charts its transition to alternative energy sources, BMW follows suit with the regional launch of the all-new 2023 i4, its all-electric sedan at Di Lot Restaurant and Bar, St Andrew, on Saturday, September 10.
"Jamaica is the first Caribbean island to get the i4 and thus the pioneers on this new automotive direction," Sloane Jackson, head of business — ATL Autobahn, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine. ATL Autobahn is the division of ATL Automotive that is responsible for BMW and the MINI marquee.
Jackson added that the evening was five years in the making with ATL Autobahn investing heavily to ensure BMW electric vehicle (EV) owners would receive the same quality service as their petrol peers.
"We've spent the last five years tooling, training, certifying, not just our sales team, but our technicians as well. We've prepared an iBay, which is signature for the BMW i-models which are the EV model. So yes, we're very prepared for every EV model set to come," he said.
Jackson was also not lost on the significance of the moment in the local market.
"It's very important to Jamaica. It's the first time that we're taking the courage of a car like this. MINI is one step, but BMW is a whole different step. BMW has a much wider appeal. The i4 is much of a regular passenger car and has a much wider reach of customers. So this is going to allow more customers to get into electric and see what it's like to never use a gas station," he added.
The 2023 BMW i4 is best described as a battery powered 3 series sedan, grafting the luxury and performance with an all-electric drivetrain for those willing to make the jump from an internal combustion engine. The i4 eDrive40 features a 335bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels. There's 317lb/ft of torque to match. Energy is stored in an 81kWh lithium-ion battery that accepts both AC and DC fast charging. While it does have a top speed of 118mph, 60mph comes up in only 5.5 seconds. Maximum range is 301 miles, and as all EVs, there is dual stage regenerative braking. With the provided BMW Wallbox, the i4 can charge from 0 to 100 per cent in less than nine hours. Eighty per cent can be had in just over 30 minutes using public DC fast charging, while a quick 10-minute charge from the same source can add 108 miles of range.
The interior is familiar to the BMW faithful with the major feature being the massive, curved digital screen that displays the instrumentation and infotainment. The combination called Live Cockpit Plus sees 12.3 inches devoted to the driver and 14.9 inches for the main infotainment. The car runs iDrive 8 with its multitude of input methods beyond the iDrive controller, such as voice and touchscreen.
The BMW i4 eDrive40 is available from ATL Autobahn starting at $14.9 million.