The new BMW iX electric SUV, that the brand has revealed today, is the near production form of the BMW Vision iNext concept that was shown earlier.
- The BMW iX will sit at the top of the brand's electric vehicle line-up
- The SUV is X5-sized but is as spacious as the X7, thanks to electric platform
- It uses recycled plastics for the interiors, including a new microfibre fabric for the seats
BMW iX technology details
The bold new electric iX SUVwill serve as the firm’s “technology flagship” when it goes on sale late next year, in the international markets. The five-seat SUV will offer up to 507hp from two electric motors that drive all four wheels. It will have a 0-100kph time of less than five seconds and a range of more than 600km.
The iX is BMW’s second dedicated fully-electric production model after the seven-year-old i3 which was showcased in India but never put on sale. According to BMW, the iX nameplate was chosen to signify the new model’s position at the top of the electric i line-up and its role in showcasing technology.While the iX is broadly similar in size to the X5 externally, it's interior offers accommodation and load-carrying space comparable to the X7, thanks to the electric platform, which makes extensive use of carbon fibre in its construction.
BMW iX body/chassis
The iX, developed under the internal codename i20, uses a new aluminium spaceframe that supports an inner carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) structure, and a body made out of a combination of aluminium, composite plastic and CFRP.This new platform is highly compatible with the CLAR platform used for the likes of the 3 Series and X5, suggesting key elements of its engineering will be used by other new BMW i sub-brand models in the future. This shared chassis technology is key to allowing BMW to produce the iX alongside the 5, 6, 7 and 8 Series at its Dingolfing factory in Germany.
BMW iX styling and exterior design
The iX takes styling cues from the iNext with a large blanked off grille, largely unadorned flanks, frameless doors, fixed B-pillars, and tapered glasshouse. Without the need for a front radiator, the large grille houses the cameras, radar and sensors needed for driver assistance systems.
For the first time in a modern BMW model, the iX will feature a fixed clamshell-style bonnet. The windscreen washer bottle is accessed via the BMW emblem above the grille. BMW’s traditional corona light graphic has been replaced by a quartet of light bands in the upper part of the slim headlamp assemblies. Full-LED lights are standard, though buyers will also be able to specify Laser lights as an option.
BMW iX variants
Buyers will be able to order the iX in both standard and M Sport styling – the latter with a more heavily structured front bumper. With wheel houses similar in size to the X7, it will offer up to 22-inch aerodynamically optimised rims and 275/40 profile rubber. BMW is yet to reveal details of the variants it has planned beyond the range-topping four-wheel-drive twin motor version. The individual outputs of the two electric motors, which retain full power up to their peak revs, remain under wraps for now, though it is indicated the rear will be the more powerful of the two.
The iX sends power to all four wheels; while the drive split hasn’t been specified, it is expected to feature a typical rear bias. Top speed is above 200kph. The iX will be offered with different battery options with a “100kWh plus” unit fitted to the range-topping model. With a claimed average power consumption of 21.0kWh per 100km, that model will offer a range of more than 600km, compared to 460km offered by the iX3’s lithium-ion battery. Despite the extensive use of aluminium and carbon fibre, the large battery means the iX weighs what Weber described “as a good 2.5 tons”.
BMW iX battery
The new charging system employed by the iX enables optional DC fast charging at up to 200kW, allowing the battery to be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in under 40 minutes. The standard charger operates at 11kW, which provides the same 10 to 80 per cent charge in 11 hours on a wallbox feed.
BMW iX interior looks
The iX features a spacious interior with a flat floor and natural materials. It also uses recycled plastics, including a new microfibre fabric for the seats. Up front, there’s a hexagonal multi-function steering wheel, with the instruments and infotainment functions grouped together in a lightly curved digital display panel connected to the dashboard on a plastic mount within a newly designed head-up display.
The centre console has been removed, with the controls, including a rocker to select the drive and a new version of BMW’s iDrive rotary controller, set within the forward section of a high mounted armrest. Other controls are set within the upper part of the door trims. There is no third-row seat option; BMW claims the less than three percent take-up for the third-row seat on the current X5 was key in this decision. Boot capacity will be similar to the 650 litres of the X5.
BMW iX Rivals
The BMW iX uses the new fifth-generation electric drive system, and also offers high levels of autonomous and connected technology. When it goes on sale internationally, the BMW ix will take on the likes of the Audi e-tron quattro and Mercedes-Benz EQC, as well as the Tesla Model S and Nio ES8. There have been no indications of a price for the iX, but as a high-tech flagship it is expected to command a premium over comparably sized models.