When BMW first announced the iX, it promised to include all of the latest technology in its all-electric SUV.
While there was plenty to fawn over at BMW’s technological flagship’s introduction on Tuesday in Los Angeles, several of the forward-thinking tech elements seen in a concept car that preceded the iX were not included in the actual vehicle.
Many of the coolest driving aid features, like as having the car change lanes for you or following the car in front of you, aren’t standard — and are already available from other automakers, including BMW.
The all-wheel-drive BMW iX will be on sale between January and March 2022, with a starting price of US$83,200, a range of 300 miles on a single charge, a max speed of 144 mph, and a 0-62 mph time of 4.6 seconds. It has 516 horsepower thanks to its two motors.
BMW is already working on a M Sport vehicle with over 600 horsepower. BMW claims a 0-to-62-mph acceleration time of roughly 4.6 seconds, which isn’t Tesla-quick but still decent.
Tesla’s Long Range Model X SUV with 340 miles of range, one of its direct rivals, starts at around the same price, US$83,190.
The iX is equipped with a 111.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack, of which only 106.9 kWh is usable, which BMW claims will provide a range of around 300 miles. This is an estimate, although BMW is using the more pessimistic EPA cycle instead of the European WLTP cycle. It’s hardly world-class range, but it’ll suffice for most people in most scenarios.
Don Smith, a BMW product manager, said it will charge 90 miles in 10 minutes using DC Fast Charging, the fastest charging level possible. That’s a lot faster than the 30 minutes it’ll take the Bolt EUV, Chevrolet’s new all-electric SUV, to receive a same charge.
The iX can DC fast-charging at 200 kilowatts, which should give you an 80 percent charge in just 40 minutes thanks to BMW’s latest-generation EV architecture. BMW teamed up with the EVGo charging network to make these chargers available to drivers via a smartphone app.
EVgo has over 800 charging stations throughout 32 states, the majority of which are located on the East Coast and in California, and iX owners receive a $100 credit toward future charging.
Aside from the electric powertrain, BMW is adopting a unique approach to the iX’s exterior design. The iX’s body is made entirely of carbon fiber and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, just like the current 7 Series and the company’s prior electric versions. This reduces weight (and keeps the car low in the air) while maintaining rigidity and crashworthiness.
The iX’s exterior resembles that of other BMW SUVs, with the exception of the new schnoz, which has provoked a lot of conflicting reactions from the media and the general public. Regardless of how the iX looks, its body form is doing something right because BMW claims it has a drag coefficient of just 0.25, which is extremely low for an SUV.
Because the iX is primarily a luxury vehicle, BMW has prioritized ride quality. The conventional lift-related damping system, which uses multi-adjustable hydraulic dampers like those on the new i4, or the optional air suspension do this.
BMW wants to keep the iX as sporty as possible, thus the Servotronic variable steering system is included. BMW’s adoption of specifically engineered noise-reducing tires is also impressive. The inner surface of the tire is lined with foam, which dampens vibrations and resonance while rolling.
The interior of the iX features not just a generous serving of attractive design, but also the latest and finest technology that Munich has to offer. The integration of BMW’s eighth-generation iDrive technology, as well as a large, curved screen, is the crown gem. To speed things up, iDrive 8 makes use of 5G connections.
Other interior features include a hexagonal steering wheel (which is a little strange, but not as strange as the Tesla yoke), an electrochromic panoramic glass roof, a Bowers & Wilkins stereo system, and a variety of non-leather upholstery options, including a mix of microfiber and wool.
Even though the greatest features are part of an optional Driving Assistant Professional package, the iX’s safety tech is adequate. Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, active evasion (which helps the car move into a free lane as soon as it senses a sudden evasive maneuver by the driver), and lane-departure warning are among the features that come standard.
Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go ability and active lane keep-assist are included in the optional Driving Assistant Professional package.