In 2013 BMW set the bar for e-mobility quite high with the i3. Now the iX is supposed to pave the way for the new start into the electric future of the brand with many innovations.
In 2016, BMW officially introduced the term iNext as a working title for a future generation of electric cars. In 2018, a corresponding vehicle concept in SUV format followed under the name Vision iNext 2018. Now the Munich-based company has unveiled the series version of the Vision iNext, named iX, which is intended to pave BMW's way into a battery-electric future.
Modern and sporty design
The format of the iX is reminiscent of a typical representative of the SUV segment, which BMW traditionally markets as an SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle). Laterally and in length, the iX corresponds to the format of the X5, and it is similar in height to an X6, while its wheel format corresponds to that of an X7. In contrast to the aforementioned combustion SUV, the design of the iX has a decidedly clean and almost monolithic effect. In addition, it offers a very streamlined outer skin, because the drag coefficient is 0,25 CW. Special features are door handles that are flush with the sheet metal or the frameless side windows. The front and rear are characterized by slim, innovative, styled LED lighting units. In the front, the kidney grille in the XL format, which is currently trendy at BMW, is noticeable, which is, however, closed. Instead of supplying a cooler behind with air, cameras and radar sensors are hidden here for its further automated driving functions. The usual BMW emblem is located on the nose of the front hood, which folds open when pressed. Underneath is the washer fluid filler neck.
BMW has also implemented some new ideas in the interior. Among other things, natural materials and recycling materials were processed here. The number of switches and buttons is very clear. Some control elements only become visible when they are activated. Behind the hexagonal steering wheel there is a large, curved display that extends to the passenger side. Other special features are a huge glass panorama roof or an audio system with a total of 30 speakers.
Power under the hood
The iX is powered by two electric motors. BMW does not want to be very specific about the performance yet. According to the latest calculations, more than 370 kW / 500 PS should be available. This means that despite the generous use of aluminum and carbon, the 2,5-ton all-wheel drive is supposed to sprint from standstill to 100 km / h in less than 5 seconds. The new high-voltage battery of the fifth generation with more than 100 kWh gross energy content enables a range of more than 600 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. BMW puts the power consumption at less than 21 kWh per 100 kilometers.
Despite the 400-volt architecture, the battery can be charged from 200 to 40 percent in less than 10 minutes with an output of up to 80 kW on a direct current fast charger. It is possible to recharge electricity for 10 kilometers within 120 minutes. A full charge on a home wallbox with 11 kW charging power takes around 11 hours.
In the iX, a new type of technology kit is used for the vehicle brain, the computing power of which is designed for a data volume that is 20 times higher than that of previous models. This is also necessary in view of a more powerful sensor system, which should lift the iX to a higher level of autonomous driving skills. BMW promises improved and new automated driving and parking functions. Theoretically, the on-board sensors allow driving at autonomy level 3. In addition, the fully networked vehicle will of course offer 5G technology.
In the summer of 2021, BMW wants to start series production of the iX at the Dingolfing plant. Accordingly, the electric SUV will not be available until autumn next year. Initially there will only be one performance variant, but BMW does not want to rule out other performance variants of the iX. No prices are given yet. The iX will very likely be a lot more expensive than the iX2021, which was already available at the beginning of 69.800 at a price of 3 euros.