BMW unveils production-spec iX electric SUV
The all-electric BMW iX was first seen in the 2018 Paris Motorshow, back then it was called the Vision iNext. For the production version, the name has been changed to iX to signify the model’s position in the electric ‘i’ line-up, with the ‘X’ being a common theme for BMW SUVs. The new iX packs all the latest bells and whistles from the BMW tech tree and the iX’s design also shows us BMW’s path for its future design.
BMW iX Powertrain
At the moment, the BMW iX is available in xDrive 40 and xDrive 50 variants. They carry a 322bhp (70kW) and a 516bhp (100kW) electric motor respectively. The all-wheel-drive iX xDrive 50 does the 0-100kmph sprint in 4.6 seconds, but BMW is set to introduce a sportier BMW iX M60 with a maximum output in excess of 590bhp (440 kW) at a later date. Back to the standard iX though. Both variants get two e-motors that drive all four wheels and the AWD system drives torque variably to the front and rear wheels depending on the driving situations. So, you could go from a more efficient pure RWD setup through to an AWD set-up that maximises traction.
BMW iX range and charging
The BMW iX xDrive50 is fitted with a 105.2 kWh battery, while the battery unit for the BMW iX xDrive40 has a net energy content of 71 kWh. Due to its extremely low drag coefficient of 0.25, the iX xDrive 40 manages a WLTP-tested range of 400km whereas the iX xDrive 50 ekes out a WLTP-tested range of 600km. And when you do eventually run out of juice, if the iX is plugged into a 200kW fast charger, it can charge up its batteries from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in under 40 minutes! On the other hand, a regular 11kW charger would take 11 hours to fully charge the iX.
The chassis of the BMW iX has an aluminum space-frame construction and uses carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the roof, at the sides and rear which results in increased rigidity without a severe weight penalty. A cool touch by BMW is that some parts of the carbon infused plastic are left bare deliberately, for the customers to see. The battery pack is located in the car’s underbody which results in a lower center of gravity and allows for a more even weight distribution.
BMW iX features
On the inside, the hexagonal steering wheel and the massive infotainment touch screen are impossible to miss. The touchscreens are made of a single piece of curved glass. It groups a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment display, both of which are angled towards the driver. With a little extra dough, the buttons on the doors can be upgraded to crystals which really give the car a ‘prototype’ feel.
On the outside, the large grille is impossible to miss and it is actually functional. Not to suck in air, but it houses a radar system which aids a variety of autonomous features. To protect the grille and the radar from damage, BMW has applied a polyurethane coating that can self-repair small scratches within 24 hours at room temperature. That process can be accelerated if the car is simply left under the sun or warm air is applied to it!
If mud accumulates or gets sprayed over the rear view camera, the camera embedded logo extends a few centimeters and a nozzle sprays washer fluid over it. Wait, there’s more. If you are standing at the rear end of the car with the tailgate open, don’t worry about people not spotting you. There are separate taillamps on the boot to aid rear visibility if the tailgate is popped open. The technology doesn’t end there though because the sunroof can change from opaque to translucent with the touch of a button. This is possible through BMW’s electrochromic dimming technology.
BMW iX price
Internationally, prices for the BMW iX start at ₹58.5 lakh, before Indian taxes and duties which makes it a competitor to the likes of Tesla Model X , Mercedes EQC and Audi E-tron. While an India launch isn’t official, all of its international rivals are either here in India already or will be coming soon, so it might not be too far-fetched to wonder if the iX could actually make it to India.