The iX will be BMW’s electric flagship when it enters production in the middle of 2021.
BMW is mounting another challenge to the electric vehicle market with this, the iX. The production version of the artist previously known as iNext, the iX will start arriving on our shores a little over a year from now. When it does, this all-electric EV will offer over 300 miles of range on a single charge, and an M4-rivalling 500 horsepower.
Speaking of the sports coupe, the iX features a similar bucktooth grille design. If you thought the M cars might be outliers, well, sorry to disappoint. The iX doesn’t need to use that gaping maw to cool an engine, however, so BMW has stuffed it full of cameras, radar, and other sensors. Thin LED headlights frame the grille, with the cool-blue adaptive Laserlight tech available as an option. Around back, the tailgate is a clamshell design, with the whole rear opening up. We’d call this the car’s best angle, thanks to thin taillights and just a hint of i3 to the whole design.
In terms of size, the Bavarian automaker says the iX slots in at roughly the same size as the X5. That translates to around 194 inches in length and 79 in width. The 118-inch wheelbase is just about an inch longer than the X5’s. Don’t expect a lightweight vehicle though: the iX doesn’t use an expensive carbon fiber platform like the i3 and i8 did, but an evolution of BMW’s CLAR platform. With the necessary EV gubbins, it should weigh at least a few hundred more pounds than an all-wheel drive X5.
Under the skin, BMW has installed the fifth generation of its eDrive electric vehicle setup, which comprises two electric motors—one at each axle—and a battery. The motors are an in-house design. BMW didn’t drop battery specifics, though we expect the capacity to clear 100 kWh. DC fast charging will be possible, all the way up to rates of 200 kW. Find that amount of juice, and BMW says the iX can go from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in less than 40 minutes. An 11-kW home charger can fully charge the battery in around 11 hours.
Stepping inside, the interior is at least as daring as that brutalist exterior. It’s all about minimalism here, with lots of open space to give the iX a feeling of spaciousness. A large 14.9-inch curved touchscreen dominates the dashboard, joined to a slightly smaller 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. BMW’s iDrive controller sits in a small piece of wood between the seats, alongside a handful of other controls. Beside it is the shifter, now shrunken down to a simple rocker switch.
There’s a lot of materials on offer in the iX interior, but we like it, especially the diagonal split on the seats between the cloth and pale blue microfiber. BMW will also offer a safer black option, but come on—get the blue.
The iX will also offer a head-up display and a 1,615-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system, with 4D Audio technology. This incorporates “shakers” into the front seats, a feature that’s slowly creeping into the luxury segment.
Pricing details are still a while away, and BMW has yet to confirm whether the iX will offer lower-power (and -range) versions. We expect this 500-hp, 300-mile range version to command a premium over the lesser-powered Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi e-tron, however. Production will begin in the middle of 2021, with US sales planned for the beginning of 2022.
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