First seen by a Canadian automotive site, these Japanese patent rendering show what could be BMW’s highly anticipated BMW i4 electric car. The five door hatch looks to be a evolution of the i3 and i8 design language wrapped around a larger vehicle. The doors appear to be made up of two traditional doors upfront with rear hinged doors in the back (which look to be operated independently).

Why do we believe this to be the i4 rather than the i5? We’ve heard previously from BMW that the name i5 would be saved for a crossover electric vehicle. Given the size and nature of these rendering that leaves the i4 as the most logical choice.

Whatever the name it would appear that this is BMW’s answer to the Tesla Model 3 – albeit one that’s likely $8-10k more costly. Timing remains a mystery but we know that BMW is aiming to rapidly expand its portfolio of electric cars. What we’re also curious about is how the BMWi range of cars will co-exist with fully electric BMWs and MINIs which are also coming.

What do you think? Would you consider a BMW i4 over a Tesla Model 3 range being equal?