Three months after its first appearance in Malaysia, the BMW i4 is now open for booking in the country, completing the initial local electric vehicle lineup. The zero-emissions five-door Gran Coupé joins the iX and iX3 SUVs, offering more range and better performance than its taller brethren – albeit at a higher price.

Just one variant will be offered, the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 M Sport priced at RM389,800 on-the-road without insurance. This figure includes the government’s import tax, excise duty and road tax exemptions for EVs, along with the full sales and service tax (SST) – the latter should mean that deliveries will occur after the June 30 deadline for the ongoing SST exemptions. Also included is the five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and service package; the price will drop with the standard two-year warranty.

The high price is surprising to say the least, making it more expensive than expected and higher than the iX3 and iX. In other markets, the i4 is the cheapest among the three models. However, it does come with more kit as standard compared to the SUVs.

Power comes from a single rear motor producing 250 kW (340 PS) and 430 Nm of torque, both figures being higher than that of the iX3. So equipped, it will get from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds before hitting a top speed of 190 km/h. An 83.9 kWh lithium-ion battery enables a range of 590 km on a single charge.

Like the rest of its siblings, the i4 can accept up to 11 kW of AC charging power, filling the battery in eight hours and 15 minutes. However, the i4 is able to support up to 200 kW of DC fast charging input (up from 150 kW on the iX) using the same Combined Charging System (CCS) connector, although because of the larger battery, the charge time from 10% to 80% is the same as the iX at 31 minutes.

The i4 is based on the 4 Series Gran Coupé and as such gets a number of unique design cues from the regular two-door, aside from the obvious number of doors. While the trapezoidal headlights, L-shaped taillights and controversial full-height double kidney grille (closed off here) are identical, the electric version gets Air Breather vents on the front fenders, flush door handles and a lower-profile shark fin antenna.

On top of that, the M Sport kit adds larger air intakes, deeper side skirts and contrasting grey panels on the rear bumpers, the latter flanking the large diffuser. Unlike the car that was shown in January, local models will ride on smaller 19-inch Style 860 M two-tone alloy wheels. Laserlight headlamps and M Sport brakes with blue callipers are fitted as standard.

Inside, the i4 is differentiated from the 3 Series, 4 Series and 4 Series Gran Coupé by the freestanding curved display panel from the iX, incorporating a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. These run on the new BMW Operating System 8 with a striking user interface, a customisable instrument layout and integrated climate controls.

Here, the M Sport package adds a thicker three-spoke steering wheel, power-adjustable sports seats with driver’s side memory, aluminium trim with a rhombic pattern, alloy pedals and black headlining. The dashboard and seats are upholstered in Sensatec faux leather, with the pews coming in either Black, Mocha and Tacora Red hues.

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Other bits of standard equipment include an external loudspeaker to warn pedestrians of the car’s presence, keyless entry, push-button start, three-zone automatic climate control, park assist, a 360-degree camera, Qi wireless charging, a 17-speaker, 525-watt Harman Kardon sound system and a hands-free powered tailgate.

Safety-wise, the i4 comes with the full Driving Assistant Professional suite, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and collision prevention and rear cross traffic alert with auto brake.

The i4 will initially be available in Black Sapphire, Mineral White and Dravit Grey, with Sanremo Green and Portimao Blue coming on stream later on – during which Brooklyn Grey will also be introduced to replace Dravit Grey. Monthly instalments will start from RM4,306, said BMW Group Malaysia.