BMW iX is Almost Ready to Go

Eat Sleep Drive Repeat

12 November 2020

Next generation EV is a bag of futuristic tricks

For BMW, the newly announced iX isn’t just a new all-electric SUV, it’s a whole new way of driving.

While it features the company’s latest generation electric drive systems, and a mix of leading edge tech for its construction, a highlight of the iX is how it allows passengers to better use time while on the move through “a new form of luxury”. Interestingly, rather than style the iX and build a cabin to fit, its cabin was designed first, followed by the minimalist exterior.

The lack of a transmission tunnel - a by-product of an electric drivetrain - means the iX’s cabin automatically has more space for designers to play with, and opens up ideas for layout and interior packaging. BMW say their iX has a lounge-like feel, with new developed seats and a panoramic glass roof. The centra console is crafted to be more furniture than function, and there’s more legroom all round.

The iX has also latched onto the concept of “shy tech” - technology that is discreetly packaged and works in the background or only when it’s needed. For occupants, it includes recessed exterior door handles, speakers that are out of sight and a near-invisible head up display projector. The less bashful tech includes a curved display, a rocker switch for gear selection and a hexagonal steering wheel.

It may be roughly the size of an X5, but the exterior details of the iX have been pared down as much as possible - to the point where it packs extremely slim tail lights and the skinniest headlights ever seen on a BMW. Because electric driving requires less cooling, BMW have sealed off the vertical kidney grille in front, and used the space for what they’re calling an “intelligence panel”: an area where driving tech like sensors, radar and cameras are mounted behind a transparent surface.

The new EV is undergoing its series development, so some technical details aren’t yet confirmed. It will be driven by a pair of electric motors with a projected output of 370kW - good enough to push the iX from 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds. Energy consumption is predicted to be around 21kWh/100km - the rough equivalent of around 4.1l/100km, but with zero emissions. On a full charge, the iX should be able to cover 600km, with a fast charge boost of 120km in 10 minutes. A full charge takes 11 hours from a domestic wallbox, while a DC connection will take the battery from 10% to 80% capacity in 40 minutes.

Efficiency is a major theme of the iX: the chassis is a mix of aluminium and carbon, boosting performance by reducing weight. The design incorporates optimised aerodynamics and its construction includes recycled materials; similarly, the battery manufacturing process uses sustainable energy sources.

The BMW iX will go into production in the second half of 2021.

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