The largest member of BMW’s i sub-brand will pack up to 516 hp.
Alongside the i4 four-door, BMW also showed off its first all-electric SUV this week. We first saw the iX late last year, and now BMW has spilled the beans on what to expect when it arrives early next year, starting from $84,195 ($92,470 CAD) after destination.
Let’s get the looks out of the way now. The iX has an … unconventional design, with thin headlights and an even larger version of the conjoined grille found on the 4 Series. To call it polarizing would be an understatement. We see a hint of the i3 in the D-pillar though, and appreciate the taller side windows. So hey, at least there’s that.
It’s under the skin where the iX xDrive50 impresses. BMW has stuffed an absolutely enormous 111.5-kWh battery pack down low, estimating a full 300 miles (482 km) per charge on the EPA cycle. A dual-motor setup produces 516 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque. The iX will follow the i4’s lead with an eventual M model as well: the iX M60 will sport over 600 electric ponies.
Sharing its fifth-generation EV architecture with the i4, the iX is capable of DC fast-charging up to 200 kW. That’s enough to go from 10 to 80 percent charge in around 31 minutes. Meanwhile, an 11-kW Level 2 charger can completely replenish the battery in around 11 hours.
BMW uses carbon fiber-reinforced plastics for much of the iX chassis, dubbing it the “Carbon Cage.” It’s similar to the approaches found in the earlier i models, as well as the 7 Series. Adaptive dampers are standard, with an air suspension system optional. The all-wheel drive system can run in pure rear-drive mode to save fuel, as well. The iX also utilizes the same near-actuator wheel slip limitation tech found in the i4. It essentially functions as in-motor traction control, eliminating any delay in the system.
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The exterior design might not be to everyone’s tastes, but we’re sure public opinion on the interior will be more positive. Simply put, it’s stunning. A curved display stretches across most of the dashboard, running the latest iDrive 8 operating system. There’s open air between the seats too, emphasizing the sort of space EVs can offer over traditional ICE cars. There are bold material options, including many sustainable and natural materials. The seats, for example, are split between wool and microfiber. There’s also an electrochromic glass roof, which can go from clear to opaque at the touch of a button.
Standard driver assists include automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning. BMW continues to charge extra for things like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist, however.
As mentioned before, the 2022 BMW iX xDrive 50 will arrive in dealerships early next year. Prices will begin at $84,195 ($92,470 CAD) after destination.
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