New Model News

Fresh BMW Concept i4 champions electric driving, grand touring

The BMW Concept i4will evolve to become the new i4 electric sedan.

Photo courtesy of BMW

With a giant buck-toothed grille and all-electric powertrain, the BMW Concept i4 made its debut this week showing off what a future BMW i4 will look like. BMW has already said that the i4 will enter production in 2021. When it does so, it will be BMW's first luxury midsize electric vehicle (EV).

The thoroughly modern grand tourer has a strong stance and questionable fascia choices. It features a long wheelbase and the type of fastback roofline that makes German automakers keen to call it a "coupe" despite the fact that it has four doors. Its midsize proportions are similar to the current BMW 5 Series.

BMW Concept i4

BMW Concept i4

Photo courtesy of BMW

Its enormous grille no longer serves a cooling purpose but rather houses technology required to keep the car on the road. The Concept i4 is shown in a Frozen Light Copper paint job.

At the rear, there are long, L-shaped taillights and vertical air intakes. Because it is an EV, there are no tailpipes.

Throughout the exterior there are blue tinted design elements that are common on modern vehicles denoting their electrified powertrain. It has unique wheels that were designed just for the concept.

The four-door tourer has an EPA-estimated range for 270 miles, is able to achieve 530 horsepower, and can get from zero tp 62 mph in 4.0 seconds. BMW says that its top speed is in excess of 124 mph. Its battery weighs roughly 550 kilograms and has an energy content of around 80 kWh.

There are three drive modes: Core, Sport, and Efficient. BMW says that these modes give a hint at what is to come in the i4.

BMW has orientated the cabin of the Concept i4 for the driver. A new BMW Curved Display pairs with the steering wheel and features technology that promises to make infotainment tech functionality more intuitive. Like the Cadillac curved OLED screen, the Concept i4's display is non-reflective and does not require a shroud.

There are almost no buttons on the minimalistic center stack. Nearly every operation relies on touch control, including the functionality of a traditional shifter. Gold Bronze accent strips finish off the interior with a high level of sophistication.

BMW highlights the large amount of head- and legroom in the midsize model. BMW has equipped the model with sport seats in the front and rear.

Look for the true version of the BMW Concept i4 will likely be revealed later this year or early next.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The EQB lands this summer with a not-so-bad starting price.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is pressing ahead with its electrification goals. Following the release of the EQS flagship electric sedan last year, the automaker is readying the EQB, an electric SUV with up to seven seats. Today, Mercedes announced pricing for the vehicle, and it's surprisingly reasonable. Two trim levels will be offered for the EQB in the United States: Exclusive and Pinnacle, and wecould see an AMG variant at some point down the road.

The EQB comes in two variants, including the EQB 300 and EQB 350, both of which come with all-wheel drive. The EQB 300 offers 225 horsepower and the 350 delivers 288 ponies. Those aren't super-serious numbers and they don't have to be. The EQB competes with vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4, so mind-blowing performance isn't exactly the goal. Mercedes hasn't given range estimates yet, but they should fall in line with the competition.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQBThe EQB will come in two powertrain variants, each with two trims.Mercedes-Benz

The SUV comes standard with a 10.25-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Mercedes includes a good list of standard safety features, including lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and active brake assist. Additionally, the EQB's navigation system routes the vehicle for the best efficiency and can help locate charging stations.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 starts at $56,800, including a $1,050 destination charge. A range-topping Pinnacle trim is available for $59,350. The EQB 350 starts at $60,350. Mercedes says the SUV will go on sale in summer 2022.

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