BMW iX (2021) 523 hp, and the iX M60 with 619 hp has already been leaked
BMW launched its second electric SUV, the iX, in November. Two model variants are available for market launch. The no. 3 is the iX M60.
After BMW led the way into the E-age with the i3 and i8, the Bavarians are really launching their second electric offensive in the fall. In addition to the i4 in the eDrive40 and M50 model versions, the iX manufactured in Dingolfing will also roll into dealerships in November. Although the SUV stands on a separate platform, it otherwise operates with comparable drive components and high-voltage storage units, as well as largely identical sensor technology and electronics.
The BMW iX follows a design concept with an aluminum spaceframe that also uses carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in the roof, side and rear sections. That sounds like lightweight construction. The unladen weights are nevertheless according to EU standard at 2.440 (xDrive40) to 2.585 kilograms (xDrive50). But you have to put the weight in relation to the dimensions: The iX has a wheelbase of 3.00 meters. That’s 2.5 centimeters more than the X5, with which the iX has roughly the same length (a good 4.90 meters) in common. The height is on X6 level (about 1.70 meters) and thus undercuts the X5 by about five centimeters. In terms of wheel sizes from 20 to 22 inches, the iX resembles the X7.
At least the body has a cd value of 0.25, which is very streamlined for an SUV. The active air flap control system contributes to this: In normal driving situations, not only the kidney but also the air intakes in the lower area of the front apron are fully closed. Hardly joints also shows the transition between the front and hood – it is namely not to open. The iX customer can only snap open the logo by pressing on it to fill the opening below with washing water. The front hatch itself can only be opened in the workshop – so there is no front trunk (frunk). But that saves the corresponding mechanism and hinges.
The data of the BMW iX xDrive40
The iX xDrive40 plays the role of the base model. Its engines deliver 200 kW/272 hp at the front and 250 kW/340 hp at the rear, or 50 kW/68 hp at the front and 80 kW/109 hp at the rear over the long term. This results in a system output of up to 240 kW/326 hp and a maximum torque of 630 newton meters. This iX model version completes the sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds; at 200 km/h it stops electronically.
The lithium-ion battery of the BMW iX xDrive40 is housed in the underbody and offers a capacity of 76.6 (gross) and 71.0 (net) kilowatt hours, respectively. The energy consumption of 19.4 to 22.5 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers results in a WLTP range of 372 to 425 kilometers. At a DC fast-charging station, the iX can refuel with up to 150 kilowatts; filling from ten to 80 percent of the battery capacity thus takes 31 minutes.
The data of the BMW iX xDrive50
The xDrive50, which is higher up in the iX hierarchy, can recharge at up to 200 kilowatts, but it still takes four minutes longer to do so. The reason is the unequally larger battery with 111.5 (gross) or 105.2 (net) kilowatt hours. This allows a significantly better range of 549 to 630 kilometers despite slightly higher WLTP consumption (19.8 to 23.0 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers).
Although its two motors individually deliver the same performance data as the xDrive40, BMW releases significantly more power for the overall system in the iX xDrive50. Up to 385 kW/523 hp and a maximum of 765 Newton meters over all four wheels. The top speed level remains the same, but when it comes to acceleration, the more powerful electric SUV is also the faster, with 4.6 seconds from zero to one hundred.
BMW iX M60
But there’s a lot more to come once the iX M60 is available. The model will debut at CES 2022, with first images of the top model already leaked via Instagram.
According to the leak, the BMW iX M60 will provide 619 system horsepower via two electric motors. The model sprints to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h. The electric range is said to be over 180 kilometers.
Variable and adaptive recuperation
The driver can set the braking energy recovery to three levels (low, medium and high), with the maximum level including one-pedal feeling always activated in drive mode B. Alternatively, the electric SUV has adaptive recuperation, which acts depending on sensors and navigation data. While the iX begins to sail on a clear road as soon as the accelerator pedal is released, it independently maximizes deceleration when approaching an intersection with red lights.
Contrary to original promises, the BMW iX will not yet be able to achieve autonomous driving according to Level 3 at the start of series production, but only at a later date. Over-the-air updates could then enable it to do this, because the complex 5G-capable hardware with extreme computing power for data processing and radar or. Lidar sensors as well as cameras should be on board from the start. Much of it sits behind the huge closed kidney. Its cover is elaborately painted in several layers so that it is transparent to the sensors, but not to the viewer from the outside.
The standard double-wishbone front axle, five-link rear axle, stroke-dependent shock absorbers and variable-ratio electric power steering can be supplemented by an optional air suspension system with electronically controlled shock absorbers. Sporty drivers can also order Integral Active Steering and a sports braking system. The electric all-wheel drive is obligatory, even if the BMW iX rolls in the vast majority of driving situations only with driven rear wheels through the land.
The interior of the BMW iX
The iX’s generous dimensions and the flat floor with the battery in it create a spacious living room atmosphere inside. Displays and controls are unobtrusively designed, and the up to 30 speakers with 1.600 watts integrated mostly invisibly, the air vents filigree and discreet. Instead, unobtrusive heated surfaces help the air conditioning and the projector of the head-up display is almost invisibly embedded in the instrument panel – Shy Tech is what not only BMW calls this principle. More striking: the hexagonal steering wheel. It is a reminder that the iX will take over the steering at some point in the future and will sometimes return the driving task – so it may be helpful if the person at the wheel can also quickly grasp the position of the steering wheel haptically.
On a small center console between the front seats, a rocker switch for selecting drive levels and an iDrive controller sit directly on a wooden surface that also bears marked, touch-sensitive areas to replace buttons. A large curved display extending from the far left to the center is mounted on the microfiber-covered dashboard, which slopes sharply toward the driver. On it, the display areas of the 12.3-inch display of the (former) instruments and the control touch display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches merge. In conjunction with the new, already eighth generation of the BMW Operating System, the curved display in the BMW iX is designed to take operation to a new level: “There is no user interface in the industry that can be operated as easily and safely as ours”, says BMW board member for development Frank Weber.
Lounge in the rear
There is room for three people in the rear. Like the newly developed front seats, the outer seats have integrated headrests. In the middle seat, the headrest can be folded down to improve rear visibility. The elimination of the center tunnel also gives passengers in the second row of seats plenty of legroom. The interior designers have pulled the bench seat far into the door area so that it is more comfortable to face the adjacent occupant.
If you don’t want that, you can look into your personal tablet. That can be stored in a travel& integrated in the front seat Comfort system, which is also suitable for attaching coat hooks. There are also two USB-C ports integrated into the headrests of each of the front seats. Optional heated seats and integrated speakers for the rear. The rear seat backrest can be divided and folded down in a 40:20:40 ratio to increase the 500-liter trunk to a capacity of 1.750 liters to increase. Under its loading floor there is a very spacious, deep compartment, which would not have to capitulate even to the stowage of very long charging cables. A natural extract from olive tree leaves is used to treat the surface of the leather on the seats and instrument panel. In addition, the interior uses FSC-certified wood and a high proportion of recycled plastics in the surfaces of the door trim, seats, center console and floor trim.
Prices start at 77.300 euros for the BMW iX xDrive40. The iX xDrive50 is available from 98.000 euros, BMW has not yet defined the rate for the M60. There should still be enormous room for improvement: The sports package, large wheels and all sorts of equipment features for the interior will cost a good deal extra. There also this electric SUV of BMW remains completely faithful to the mark tradition.