BMW is serious about going electric. In recent years, they expanded their plug-in hybrid line-up and added mild-hybrid tech to most of their cars. Now, they're taking it to a new level with their flagship electric crossover, the iX.
BMW didn't just get an X5 and stick in an electric motor. The iX is a unique vehicle with its unique styling, tech, and electric motor. According to BMW, this crossover serves as a preview of things to come from the German automaker.
Stats? The two electric motors in the iX are good for 370 kW, which is about 500 PS. That gives this sizable crossover a 0 to 100 km/h time of just 5.0 seconds, which makes it even quicker than some performance cars. Not only that, BMW claims that it can match internal combustion-engined cars when it comes to range. They say the iX can drive for more than 600 kilometers on a single charge, which is even more than some diesel-powered and hybrid vehicles.
One of the hurdles of electric vehicles are charging times, but BMW says the iX cuts that down significantly. With DC fast charging at 200 kW, the battery in the BMW iX to be replenished from 10 to 80 percent of its full capacity in just 40 minutes. Stopping off at a fast-charging station allows users to top up the car’s range by more than 120 kilometers within ten minutes. Also, the batteries in the iX don't use rare earth materials. So not only is it a zero-emissions vehicle, it's built with being environment-friendly in mind too.
As for the design, it's what we expect from modern BMW's with a large kidney grille. In this case, it's blanked off because it's an electric vehicle. Instead, that panel houses camera technology, radar functions, and other sensors for semi-autonomous driving features as well as active safety features. Of course, the signature BMW design details are present, from the “angel eyes”, the L-shaped taillights, and the Hoffmeister Kink at the back. And while it looks upright, underfloor aerodynamics help this crossover have a drag-coefficiency of just 0.25 Cd.
But here's a cool exterior feature of the iX. Because the large grille houses most of the sensors, it shouldn't get scratches on the surface. So what they did was apply self-healing tech on the panel which can repair minor scratches within 24 hours at room temperature. That way, the sensors will work reliably for many years to come.
Inside, the iX features lounge-style seating arrangements. The flat floor, an advantage of electric cars, allowed the designers to adopt this kind of seating for more space in the cabin. BMW took the minimalist approach for the iX, with the displays and controls molded into the panels.
The German automaker calls it the “shy tech” approach with its speakers hidden out of sight, flat panels, and intricately styled air vents. The only thing that stands out is the iDrive infotainment system, which also houses the instrument cluster. As for the rest of the cabin, it has some design bits we can expect in future models. These include the hexagonally shaped steering wheel and a rocker switch for gear selection.
While it's been revealed, production for the iX will start on July 2021 for the 2022 model year. Europe will be the first market to get it, followed by the rest of the world in the coming years. Is there a chance it lands in the Philippines? Should there be more support for EVs in the Philippines, we don't see why not.