BMW’s iNext has a new(ish) name, and it’s now much closer to being production ready. This is the BMW iX, a near-complete version of BMW’s long-teased all-electric SUV. Munich says this new EV crossover will debut the brand’s latest tech and innovations, and push the EV powertrain game forward.
Our original suspicions that the new electric SUV would be called iX5 when it made production were put to rest by member of the board, Frank Weber, who told us that 'iX' will be this car's production car name. In finished form, the new iX goes on sale at the end of 2021. Here’s a rundown of what we know so far.
Still looks weird…
That it does. Still, since that tall ‘grille’ had been teased through the iNext concept and i4 concept, it’s less of a surprise. BMW says the iX has exterior dimensions of an X5, is as tall as an X6 and has the wheelbase of an X7 – the latter implying full-SUV interior space in something with a smaller exterior footprint.
The bodywork is devoid of creases, the headlights are shallow and frowny and the shape of the rear end gives the iX a silhouette much closer to an X6 than the boxier X5. Blue detailing highlights its electric underpinnings – a staple since the original i3 and i8 – while flush doorhandles and a panoramic glass roof feature.
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Inside, the iX’s cockpit again uses a lot of inspiration from the iNext; there’s a hexagonal steering wheel and a huge amount of screen real estate for the driver and front passenger to use. BMW calls it its Curved Display, making up a 12.3-inch screen for driver instrumentation and a wider 14.9-inch one in the centre – housed in one centrepiece.
When we asked if the operating system running it was an all-new generation of iDrive, Weber confirmed that this was true: “this is a completely new system, our iDrive version 8.0. You will find out more about its functionality in the first few months of 2021.”
Audio speakers and the head-up display are hidden away, while new touch controls with haptic feedback all debut here. An optional Bowers and Wilkins audio system is available with 30 speakers in total.
What powers the new iX?
BMW has been boasting about its new ‘fifth-generation’ electric powertrain tech for the best part of a year, making its debut here. There’s a 100kWh battery pack underneath, with BMW claiming a usable range of more than 600 kilometres on one charge.
Two e-motors – one on each axle – provide 367kW of shove, good for a 0-100km/h sprint in under five seconds. BMW says the iX is capable of up to 200W DC fast charging, allowing a 10-80 per cent charge to be done in 40 minutes.
BMW also says that its latest EV tech is highly recyclable, with e-motors that don’t use rare earths.
When can I buy an iX?
That’s still uncertain, as this isn’t a 100 per cent real car yet. BMW says the production model that will be spun off from this will go on sale at the end of 2021.
This article was originally published at carmagazine.co.uk