BMW iX: Radical I-Pace rival undergoes final tests
Say hello to the radical-looking BMW iX – an all-electric SUV that will be taking on the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron when it arrives late next year.
It’s currently undergoing final testing in the harsh environment of the North Cape, to ensure its high-voltage platform can perform in even the most gruelling circumstances.
Here’s what you need to know about the car that BMW says is the dawn of a new era.
BMW iX design
The iX’s radical design was directly inspired by the Vision iNext concept of 2018, and it’s certainly one of the more outlandish EV designs we’ve seen to date.
It’s around the same size of an X5, although that’s where the similarity ends. The car is defined by razor-sharp edges and its imposing front end. There’s a huge (non functional) BMW kidney grille and a pair of slim LED headlights.
Down the side there’s a set of integral door handles (a first for a BMW), while at the rear the tail lights mirror the thin, razor-like headlights.
BMW iX interior
If anything, the inside the design is even more innovative and unique than the exterior. The driver is greeted by a number of huge, curved screens. The one in front of the driver is a huge 14.9in monitor, while the infotainment system in the centre features a 12.3in unit.
Exact details on the infotainment and connectivity options are to be confirmed, but the iX will benefit from a 5G hotspot that’ll mean the car can process data quicker than your average desktop computer.
They sit on top of an extremely simplified and uncluttered dashboard, with an array of buttons and controls to be found below the air vents.
Designed to seat five people comfortably thanks to the absence of a transmission tunnel, there’s also a huge panoramic roof that will automatically adjust its tint depending on sunlight.
BMW iX drivetrains
Power comes courtesy of BMW’s latest eDrive electric motors which have been made more compact than those used in an i3. There’s more power too; coupled to 100kWh battery that’s runs underneath the floor, the two motors can produce more than 500hp. The result is a 0-62mph time under five seconds.
The iX sits on a bespoke aluminium and carbon fibre platform that’s been specifically designed for EVs. Autonomous driving assistance systems are also high on the agenda, with BMW claiming the iX will feature Level 3 autonomy.
That means it can steer, accelerate and brake independently at speeds of up to 80mph. As with all these systems, however, the driver is required to have their hands on the wheel at all times. The iX is also capable of learning drivers’ habits to increase efficiency and improve safety.
This is likely to be the range-topping battery option and we’re yet to hear details of other variants. This one, however, is capable of up to 376 miles between charges and is capable of rapid charging up to 200kW. That means you can recharge from 0% to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes.
One of four all-electric models BMW is set to launch over the coming two years, the iX will cost from around £100,000 when it eventually arrives. We’ll let you know more details as soon as they’re revealed.