Meet The iX: BMW's First Electric SUV

Electric Vehicles / Comments

With over 500 hp on tap, it's an exciting, earth-friendly EV.

BMW has recently announced a billion-dollar investment in electric drivetrains and is doing everything it can to make its new electric vehicles as eco-friendly as possible. As part of this shift towards electrification, the German carmaker will unveil a couple of new EVs this year, and one of the first to arrive is the BMW iX. It promises an "exhilarating driving experience" and with its top M60 trim rumored to produce over 550 horsepower, that doesn't seem like an empty promise. But the first to be revealed is no slouch either. Meet the BMW iX xDrive50 with 516 hp and a range of around 300 miles.


Despite being an EV, the iX should be pretty light thanks to carbon fiber-reinforced plastic components that make up a 'Carbon Cage' for supreme stiffness, a low center of gravity, and minimal weight.

It also promises a new type of suspension with "lift-related shock absorbers" that use a conventional piston and base valve as well as a second piston that can drop down into the inner sleeve of the shock to further dampen rebound over bigger bumps. If that's not good enough, an optional adaptive air suspension system with automatic self-leveling is also available. In Sport mode, this system drops the vehicle by 0.4 inches.


Other efforts made to improve comfort include light-alloy wheels with noise-reducing tires. As standard, you get 20-inch rims, but 21- and 22-inch Air Performance wheels are optional, offering a weight reduction of around 15 percent. Cleverly, the new tires are also connected to a new tire pressure monitoring system that can give the readings of each individual tire and indicate what the correct pressures for the weight of the vehicle should be.

Furthermore, you get adaptive energy recuperation that can be adapted to the road you're on, using data from the navigation system and driver assistance sensors. This can be set to a freewheeling function which will automatically reactivate energy recuperation if the vehicle gets too close to the vehicle ahead of it.


As for the battery, you get a 111.5-kWh unit with a net energy content of 106.3 kWh. This battery can be warmed by the excess heat generated in the drive units when you start driving in low temperatures while a two-level cooling module and other components ensure optimum temperature control for both the eDrive components and the cabin.

When it comes to charging, a Level 2 Wallbox allows for AC charging at a rate of up to 11 kW. Using a Level 2 charger, the battery can get from empty to full in under eleven hours. Using a 200 kW DC fast charger, you can increase range by up to 90 miles in just 10 minutes or get from 10 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes. You also get $100 in EVgo charging credit.


Inside, you get the all-new iDrive 8 infotainment system with connected navigation that can point you to parking and charging spaces. That navigation system can also learn your habits and suggest a destination based on your past routes. A 12.3-inch driver info display alongside a 14.9-inch infotainment screen creates one continuous curved display, and with both enhanced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the new system should cater to the needs of all.

BMW says that its new hexagonal steering wheel helps drivers have a clearer view of those displays while a head-up display with angle, height, and brightness adjustments makes it easier than ever to keep your eyes on the road. As standard, a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system is fitted with 18 speakers. Optionally available is a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System with a seven-band equalizer and 30 speakers.


Other impressive features include four-zone automatic climate control with a nanofiber filter that promises the cleanest air possible. You also get simulated powertrain sounds thanks to Academy Award-winning film music composer Hans Zimmer, the option of heated surfaces (seats, door panels, steering wheel, armrests, and glove compartment), and a standard panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading.

As for colors, Sensatec faux leather is standard in Black, Oyster, or Mocha with Stonegray available as an option. Also available is Exclusive Natural leather in Castanea and Amido shades. Exterior colors have not yet been announced, but expect an exciting array of shades to choose from.


The iX promises 300 miles of range and 516 hp from two fifth-generation electric synchronous motors. Thanks to AWD, 0-60 mph is promised in just 4.6 seconds while top speed is rated at 124 mph. Thanks to a clever Dynamic Stability Control system with individual wheel control, it should be pretty good in the corners too. BMW says that this system now offers additional features like Performance Control, Brake Standby, Brake Assist, Dry Braking, and brake-fade compensation.

With similar width and length to an X5, as well as a similar height to the X6, the iX should be a great option for SUV fans when it launches here in the first quarter of next year at a base MSRP of $83,200 before $995 destination. Not good enough? BMW has now confirmed that the iX M60 will offer over 600 hp, but when it will debut has not been confirmed.


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