Today we saw some video of the BMW i4 getting a bit sideways on a test track, which is ironic because it comes just a day after Audi showed off its upcoming e-tron GT. What’s even more interesting is that, in the press release for the i4 video, BMW claimed that its design brief that of a sporty GT car; something that’s as comfortable as it is fast. Sounds exactly like the design brief of the Audi e-tron GT, which its designer Marc Lichte just claimed.
Both the BMW i4 and Audi e-tron GT have surprisingly similar formulas. They’re both sleek looking, four-door, all-electric performance GTs with all-wheel drive and over 500 horsepower. And they’re both going to make their debut this year.
The Audi e-tron GT is going to debut first, with a launch date of February 9, while the BMW i4 is going to debut later on this year, probably Q4 2021. Still, both cars will be here in 2021 and both cars will compete with one another, at least in some form.
Admittedly, the Audi will likely be more expensive than the BMW i4 and potentially a bit bigger as well. The e-tron GT is built on the same chassis as the Porsche Taycan, which is about A6/5 Series-size. So, since the i4 will be a bit smaller than a 5 Series — being built on the 4 Series chassis — the Bimmer will be a bit smaller than the e-tron GT. Additionally, the e-tron GT is likely to start at or around $100,000 and the top-end BMW i4 — with its 530 horsepower — should cost a bit more than an M3, from what we understand. So it wouldn’t surprise us if the Audi was a bit more money.
However, despite those potential size and price discrepancies, the two cars are likely to compete against each other well. Their power, ranges, usability and design briefs are almost identical and they both come from the same state in the same country.
We have no way of claiming which one will be better to drive, as we’ve obviously driven neither. That said, the Audi e-tron GT shares quite a bit of its mechanical bits with the absolutely outstanding Porsche Taycan, while the BMW i4 will mostly be based on the BMW M440i. So with that in mind, the e-tron GT certainly has a bit of an advantage.
The Audi should also have a design advantage. We haven’t seen the full BMW i4 just yet but spy photos, renders and its own siblings have essentially given us a good picture of what its final design will look like. While the Audi e-tron GT has been all but fully revealed, as its new camouflaged photos show off its finalized design and its camo barely leaves anything for the imagination. From those photos, the e-tron GT is a stone cold stunner. The BMW i4 is good looking too but its grille is still too controversial to truly be considered beautiful. Only time will tell.
So how will the two cars actually compete when they both finally hit the road? There’s obviously no way to tell at the moment but, judging from the specs, designs and design briefs, it seems like it’s going to be a blast to find out which one is best.