This is going to be a ridiculously quick EV.
With the entire industry working towards electrification, it was only a matter of time before BMW joined the fray. We've already seen the i4 all-electric sedan, and with its M50 high-performance variant, the German automaker has proven that a dull sound need not mean a dull drive. Now the BMW iX is getting the M treatment with the iX M60. In August last year, we heard rumors that it would be as powerful as some of Munich's twin-turbo V8s. Those rumors have turned out to be true, as today's reveal of the iX M60 proves. With 610 horsepower, this new electric SUV is just seven horses shy of the output of the M5 Competition.
Forget what you think about the way that electric vehicles ought to behave. With Sport Mode engaged (you only get 532 hp in other modes) and launch control activated, all 811 lb-ft of torque are available, making it possible to complete the 0-60-mph sprint in just 3.6 seconds. BMW says that the power is delivered in a way that feels steady and almost constant all the way to a limited top speed of 155 mph, so it'll feel exciting at any pace. The two electric motors (255 hp in front and 483 hp at the rear) on this SUV are pretty special too.
Instead of using rare earth materials to make magnet-based motors, BMW instead developed current-energized synchronous motors, using the precisely metered supply of electrical energy to excite the rotor. This allows for an "extremely high power density."
Thanks to an aluminum spaceframe and carbon cage, as well as carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the roof, side, and rear sections, the iX boasts excellent rigidity and optimal weight. At 5,769 pounds, it's no featherweight, but that weight has been placed well. The battery is located low down and within the wheelbase for "outstanding cornering dynamics and handling that can be precisely controlled at all times."
Helping it achieve this is a double-wishbone front axle, a five-link rear axle, and adaptive dual-axle air suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers. The suspension system regulates air supply to each wheel, which means that it can compensate for uneven loading while damper forces are adaptively controlled with a continuously adjustable valve that considers longitudinal and lateral acceleration, road speed, steering angle, and body and wheel acceleration on the front axle. Damper forces are adjusted within milliseconds, and your preferences for the ride can be altered through the My Modes button on the center console.
BMW has tried to futureproof this vehicle by offering new-generation sensors and software to allow for future updates in automated driving and parking. Other standard features include BMW Live Cockpit Professional and BMW Natural Interaction (speech and gesture control), as well as a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, BMW Laser Light headlights, keyless entry, front-seat ventilation, and heating for the seats, steering wheel, and armrests. Radiant heating of the door panels and dashboard further bolsters comfort in colder climates. You also get park sensors, ambient lighting, a power tailgate, four-zone automatic climate control, wireless charging, and a panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof.
One thing that you'll pay extra for is a fancy paint finish. As is BMW's custom, only Alpine White is a standard color. If you're willing to pay a little extra, metallic offerings include Dark Graphite, Phytonic Blue, Blue Ridge Mountain, Storm Bay, Oxide Grey, and the spectacular Aventurin Red. Interior SensaTec faux leather offerings include Oyster, Mocha, and Black, while perforated leather options are limited to Amido and Castenea Chestnut colors. Blue brake calipers and the optional BMW Individual Titanium Bronze Exterior combine with High Gloss Black/Titanium Bronze rear badges to help set this high-performance M variant apart.
A full EPA rating (the agency's preliminary estimate puts the range at 280 miles) is expected before the full market launch in June of this year, with pricing to begin at $105,100 before a $995 destination charge. Is this really the best of BMW i, X, and M? We'll let you know as soon as we drive it.