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BMW iX: The Ultimate Driving Machine is Electric Again

In 2014, BMW shocked the automotive world with the commercial release of their first electric vehicles, the now-iconic plug-in hybrid i8 sports coupe, and the all-electric i3 compact hatchback. Since then, the brand has been riding the success of its first steps into the EV world. But, when the brand ended the production of the i3, it signaled the introduction of the highly anticipated next generation of BMW’s forward-thinking i Series lineup. Last May, the Bavarian auto giant announced the release of two new additions to the lineup including a long-awaited fully-electric crossover, the BMW iX.

Introducing the BMW iX | The All-Electric SAV | BMW USA

The sleek, sporty hatchback is packed with technology and forward-thinking design that mimics and looks toward their i-Vision Circular concept car which they labeled the “Car of 2040.”

The car’s trademark kidney grille has not taken on the svelte profile of the previous generation but instead has become more oblong and almost toothy-looking. 

The completely closed-off grille space is used as an “intelligence panel” which houses many of the vehicle’s sensors, cameras, and other technology behind it. The panel itself is constructed using a special polyurethane material that heals itself when left in room temperature heat, one of the many examples of “shy tech” – subtle technology that goes unnoticed until it’s needed – that is incorporated into the vehicle.

Photo Courtesy BMW

Even despite the contentious front grille, the car is impressive. The aggressive styling of both the headlights and taillights, coupled with the seamless side paneling give the car a very similar feel to a modern military vehicle. However, it’s also incredibly sleek. The door handles are designed to be flush to the car as well as both the headlights and taillights, which add up to a coefficient of drag of 0.25, which for an SUV is definitely noteworthy. Of course, BMW made sure to add a few other pieces of “shy tech” to the exterior, in addition to the grille. The rear BMW logo doubles as a camera, which is cleaned using a spray system positioned behind the BMW roundel. In addition, the front and rear black body edging houses distance sensors for parking.

The iX is also no slouch when it comes to performance. The iX’s dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain combines for a cool 512 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque. This equates to a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds. While these initial specs are fairly formidable, BMW plans on releasing a performance version of the car they call the iX M60, raising the bar to over 600 hp, 800 lb-ft of torque, and a sub-four second 0-60 time. The iX battery range tops out at 315 miles, which puts it at the upper echelons of the crossover market segment’s range, easily competing with Tesla’s Model Y. The iX also enjoys quick charging time, going from 10% to 80% in just 35 minutes on a Level 3 charging station.

Photo Courtesy BMW

BMW has moved towards minimal interior design. In previous generations, the interior was button-laden and complex, it is now clear and simple. A single rectangular curved touchscreen stretches from the driver’s side to just past the midline, which can also be controlled by a beautifully ornate clear crystalline knob and a few “buttons” laid into the wood paneling. The steering wheel is an ergonomically designed hexagonal shape, and the driver’s side enjoys a startlingly cool heads-up display (HUD). The seats come in a variety of materials including a textile called Loft, another nod to the i-Vision Circular’s futuristic interior. The expansive panoramic glass roof stretches the entire length of the interior. Thanks to its three layers of glass, the panoramic roof is another one of BMW’s cool shy tech party tricks. At the touch of a button, it can create the illusion of shade thanks to the liquid crystals scattered throughout the middle layer.

Photo Courtesy BMW

The iX has extensive safety and driver assistance features. The engineers at BMW packed the car with blind-spot detection, lane-keeping technology, and cross traffic alerts. Additionally, they added a Maneuver Assistant, which can be used to copy maneuvers up to 200 meters using a series of ultrasonic sensors to capture the maneuvers.

The BMW iX starts at $84,195, which puts it firmly in the luxury category. It offers superior technology, beautiful design, advanced technology, and it’s fully electric. The iX ushers in an exciting era for BMW and is certainly worthy of being called the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Photo Courtesy BMW


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