BMW’s Nature-Friendly Flagship SAV, The Luxuriously Sporty And Electrifying BMW iX

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Afiq Saha | 23-08-2021 12:45 PM

Embodying BMW’s fresh new take on the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) concept, the new BMW iX is ready for series production and is just awaiting the time to be uncaged.

The brand’s new technology flagship combines locally emission-free driving pleasure, sporting agility and a compelling operating range with a character profile dedicated squarely to sustainability.

Upon launching, the BMW Group will be offering their new electric SAV in two guises, they are the BMW iX xDrive 40 and BMW iX xDrive 50.

First and foremost, the performance aspect. The entry-level iX xDrive 40 comes with dual electric motors featuring BMW’s 5th generation eDrive technology that generates a combined output of 530 hp (390 kW) of power and 630 Nm of torque.

Its electric drive, paired to a single-speed with fixed ratio automatic transmission, enables the BMW iX xDrive 40 to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds while hitting an electronically capped top speed of 200 km/h.

Both electric motors are placed separately, one at the front and one at the back, with each driving the front wheels and the rear wheels independently.

The iX xDrive 50 also sports the same BMW 5th generation eDrive technology with dual electric motors that produce a slightly higher combined output of 571 hp (420 kW) of power and 765 Nm of torque.

Also married to a single-speed with fixed ratio automatic gearbox, the iX xDrive 50’s electric drive can sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, which is slightly faster. However, it still hits an electronically limited top speed of 200 km/h.

Akin to the iX xDrive 40, Its dual electric motors are also placed at the front and back, with each transmitting power to the front wheels and rear wheels separately.

Moving on to the batteries, range and charging aspects. The iX xDrive 40 comes with a 71-kWh cell pack that boasts a pure electric driving range of 372 km (231 miles) to 425 km (264 miles) based on the WLTP cycle.

In the iX xDrive 50, it holds a bigger cell pack with an energy capacity of 105 kW and based on the WLTP cycle, it boasts a pure electric driving range of 549 km (341 miles) to 630 km (391 miles) at full charge.

Charging wise, the iX xDrive 40 models are compatible with 150-kW fast chargers, while the iX xDrive 50 can connect to 195-kW fast chargers. Both cars can be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent full in around 30-35 minutes.

Alternatively, a quick 10-minute charge using a 150-kW charger adds 95 km (59 miles) of range to the iX xDrive 40 models, while an equally brief charging time using a 195-kW charger gives the iX xDrive 50 a range of 90 miles.

Furthermore, every iX comes with an 11-kW onboard charger that allows full overnight charging using a wall box at home.

Design-wise, even though it doesn’t need a grille because of its electric nature, the new BMW iX xDrive 40 models still come with two commanding tombstone looking grilles at the front end, which is sculpted to connect with the contours of the scalloped hood.

The grille is also paired with a midsized rectangular air vent that stretches across the lower bumper’s middle section, giving out an open mouth-like look to the front fascia. Also, a face is not complete without the eyes, and in this case, it is a set of very slim and focused looking headlamps.

Flipping to the back, it can be seen with slippery, smooth and curvy contours that are matched with a slim and refined roof-edge spoiler. In the middle of the tailgate, the present is a set of slit-like and stretched out rectangular tail lamps that match the front.

Tilting lower, the rear end can also be seen with a sporty looking diffuser. Due to it being an EV, the exhaust exits have been covered up and substituted with aerodynamic slim-shaped one-piece diffuser strakes on each side.

Moreover, taking a full pan of the silhouette, to emphasise its electric nature, the front, rear, and side lower bumpers can be seen with the electric blue detailing, which completes the iX xDrive 40 entirely.

Complementing the stance are the wheels. It sees a set of 20-inch metal two-toned light alloys with five triangular-shaped spokes that have slightly compressed smaller triangles filling the gaps in between. The rims are then wrapped in 235/60 108H XL tyres.

Contrasting that, the iX xDrive 50 mainly features the same stylings and profile of the iX xDrive 40 but with its own flair.

At the front end, aside from the similar layout, setting itself apart is the massive arrow-like cladding positioned at the edges of the bumper that features vertically integrated slit-like air intakes.

Similarly, at the rear end, it differentiates itself with a subtle change to the layout. In this case it features a lower bumper that sees the exhaust exits swapped out for a set of robust-looking cladding with slit-shaped fog lights integrated into it.

Other than that, it has also opted out the electric blue detailing for a much meaner layout with an all-black front, rear and side lower bumpers. In terms of the wheels, it rides on the same set of rims and tyres as the iX xDrive 40 trim but with its own hue of all-black spokes with metal detailing.

Overall, gandering at both the trims’ profile and stylings, the rest of the BMW iX looks pretty similar to the Vision iNEXT concept from 2018, with similar chunks of sporty black trimmings fitted at the bottom edge of the bumpers and doors and around the pillars’ glass.

Interior wise, with a length of 4,953 mm, a width of 1,967 mm and height of 1,695 mm for the xDrive 40 and 1,969 mm for the xDrive 50, both of the new BMW iX are generously spacious and comfortable.

Notably, both the models offer only five seats instead of seven and since it’s an electric vehicle, it has eliminated the need for a long driveshaft to run across the undercarriage.

Hence, BMW has made the iX’s floor completely flat inside, providing the occupants with ample legroom in the back.

Additionally, buttons on the dashboard are no longer available. Instead, a slim air conditioning vent is substituted, and a big gap between the dashboard and the centre console is also present where the heating controls usually are.

BMW’s usual gear lever has also been swapped out and fitted is a tiny little rocker knob akin to the ones in the new Volkswagen Golf.

Infotainment wise, the BMW iX gets a new version of BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system that combines a 12.3-inch driver’s display with a massive 14.9-inch central touchscreen.

This system comes with an upgraded version of BMW’s personal assistant feature that allows the occupants to change the air conditioning temperature or program the satellite navigation system in which it executes automatically.

Apart from that, the new BMW iX is the first luxury car to feature the built-in 5G technology. This helps the iX to communicate with other vehicles and share information quickly. 

Meaning every iX can connect with every other iX. Such as letting the driver know about heavy traffic ahead, upcoming road signs, and even how many parking spaces are free nearby.

Interestingly, the iX also has the fastest onboard computer ever fitted to a BMW that can transmit all the information stored on a DVD in about a second.

It requires such computing power in order to deal with all the data coming from all the sensors and cameras hidden behind the front grille, which are all part of its driver-assistance system.

Speaking of which, the sensors and cameras for the driver-assistance system help in accelerating, braking and steering on highways. Also, to ensure the sensors can always see clearly, the grille comes with a self-healing coating that can smooth out scratches and small chips.

Safety technology aspects, for both the iX models’ active safety, they feature BMW’s standard set of suites that include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).

Besides that, also installed are the near-actuator wheel slip limitation tech (ARB), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Dry Braking Function, Fading Compensation, Drive-off Assistant, Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Trailer Stability Control (TSC).

On the other hand, the passive safety features front and side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front and passenger seats, three-point inertia-reel seatbelts for all seats with pretensioners and force limiter in the front, crash sensor and tyre pressure indicator.

Pricing wise, the xDrive 40 is priced from £69,905 (RM 400,618) to £72,905 (RM 417,751), while the xDrive 50 from £91,905 (RM 526,645) to £94,905 (RM 543,603).

All in all, the new BMW iX will go on sale for the European market in November this year and alongside it, also parading the brand’s electrifying efforts, is the new BMW i4 models.

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