In the past decade, BMW has been firmly committed to electrification, but now the German automaker is ready to push electrification to new heights. The first step in this effort is its latest all-electric concept iX crossover.
The Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) was unveiled on Wednesday and has been announced as the next-generation “technological flagship” of the brand. And it’s easy to understand why, because the prototype offers a range of advanced features, 500 horsepower and an equally impressive 300-mile range.
Although iX is still in the development stage, its size and shape are the same as the super popular X5. But this is where the similarities with the automakers’ current internal combustion SUVs end. The prototype does not have smooth shapes and soft corners, but has a sharp and bold appearance similar to the i4 concept that debuted this spring. This means that from the front bumper to the rear hatch, there are stunning aerodynamic elements, bold black trim, and the most eye-catching is a huge kidney grille, just like the new 4 series. These touches make the appearance of the vehicle more modern, which is significantly different from other BMW crossovers.
The minimalist cabin of iX is as eye-catching as the exterior. The interior of the SAV looks more like the simplified cockpit of a cartoon spaceship than the interior of a luxury car. Designed to maximize the use of space, the interior is trimmed with almost all irrelevant details, which means that the instrument panel is equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, a centrally positioned 14.9-inch curved touch screen infotainment system, and nothing more . At the same time, the center console is equipped with the car manufacturer’s iDrive controller and rocker switch, instead of the traditional gear lever.
Of course, despite the stylish appearance of the iX concept car, BMW did not call it a flagship product because of its appearance. The name is largely due to the high-performance powertrain, which is expected to compete with Tesla’s similar products. Although the full details have not yet been announced, the electric vehicle’s powertrain consists of two electric motors, one on each axle, and a battery pack installed under the floor with a capacity of more than 100 kWh. The two-motor setup should be able to produce about 500 horsepower and propel the car from zero speed to 60 mph in 5 seconds.
Equally impressive is the 300-mile target range, which the brand believes is achievable even under the rigorous testing standards well known by the EPA. This will immediately make iX one of the vehicles with the strongest endurance on the road. In addition, electric vehicles will support DC fast charging rates up to 200 kW. Thanks to this, you can increase the cruising range of 75 miles in 10 minutes, increase the capacity from 10% to 70% in 40 minutes, and fully charge the battery in 11 hours. Although fast chargers are still rare, even during off-road travel, this may eliminate any range of anxiety you might encounter.
Unlike most concepts (including i4), BMW has plans to put iX into production. You don’t have to wait a long time, because the automaker plans to start producing new SAVs in the second half of next year. If automakers can comply with the schedule, iX can be expected to enter dealerships in early 2022.