With the iX, BMW doesn’t just want to take the comfort of electric driving to a new level. Sustainability is also an issue.
The difference from the i3, the small electric city touring – with its unique design and revolutionary carbon structure – it could hardly be bigger. Eight years later, BMW issued another statement for the e-mobility of the future. But this time it’s a five-meter-high, two-and-a-half-ton SUV, the iX. It will be at the dealership in November and the entry-level iX xDrive40 will start at €77,300. The iX xDrive50, equipped with more power and a larger battery, costs 98,000 euros.
For years, BMW has often been accused of not getting off the ground when it comes to electric mobility, even though the i3 did very well in the summer of 2013. But now the key has been thrown into the future. their iX starts. It’s ‘our groundbreaking technology’ and has been designed as a battery electric vehicle from the start,” says product manager Carina Gärtner. And because you wanted to bring electric powertrain, sportiness, range, space and travel comfort all under one roof, this couldn’t be another small electric city car like the i3.
Transparency in terms of sustainability
Of course, Munich also knows that large SUVs like the iX, even if they are electric, are not viewed without criticism in Germany. There are always discussions about the high consumption of energy and water associated with the production of batteries, as well as the use of various raw materials, some of which are extracted under inhumane conditions. BMW has specifically questioned all of this and is playing open cards when it comes to sustainability: complete transparency of supply chains, especially for cobalt and lithium, no questionable intermediaries, production of iX and battery cells with green electrolyte, electric motors without rare earths, high use of recycle Recycling – materials in the car, secondary aluminum use, global compliance with social standards, no raw materials from deep-sea mining, 90 percent less chromium inside and inside the car, use of waste nylon upholstery and old fishing nets.
If BMW delivers on all these promises, customers can start the iX with a green conscience. You can expect great quietness and outstanding quiet driving characteristics. “The iX provides a completely new experience of Sovereignty, our decades of experience have entered into this vehicle,” says Johan Kestler, iX project manager. Built in the fifth generation of iDrive architecture, with front and rear seat electric motor, compact, light and highly efficient. WLTP consumption figures show how economical it is. For the current top-of-the-line model, the iX xDrive50 with a total power of 523 hp, BMW specs 19.8 kWh/100 km. This will be about 20 percent less than for example with the Mercedes EQC, Audi e-tron or Tesla Model X. The iX xDrive40, its engines combined produce 326 hp, and consumes 19.4 kWh / 100 km. Much of the efficiency is due to the sophisticated aerodynamics. The drag coefficient is 0.25. For comparison: X5 has 0.31.
A digital world in a curved screen
Inside, the iX allows its occupants to immerse themselves in a new kind of BMW world, which the i3 has already done. But now it’s fully digital and revealed in the cockpit by a large curved screen with a cool screen and easy navigation menu. If you don’t want to use touch, you can opt for the simple voice control or the well-known iDrive controller. Favorite buttons have survived, too. BMW has just taken it to the digital world.
In iX, digitization begins even before it begins. As soon as you approach the car, the car connects to the driver’s smartphone (or key) and a full welcome party begins. The exterior and interior lights are turned on, the doors open, the so-called “curved screen” begins to wake up, the mobile phone is automatically paired and the BMW ID is activated.
Dynamic Bavarian piece
But it is still manually operated with a button. Then pull the small swing to D, and walk away. Bavarian Brocken begins to move gently and almost silently. But after a short step on the pedal, all the reservations about weight and size were gone. The dynamics are impressive. The iX xDrive50 feels noticeably lighter than it is and is very agile. Suspension and noise relief are great, especially when the air suspension does its job. However, it is not part of the standard range of delivery. Just like the rear wheels of the steering wheel. However, it is a worthwhile investment, because stability in curves and maneuverability when maneuvering or in a multi-storey car park increases significantly.
The previously annoying topic of range can be safely ignored with the BMW iX xDrive50. At its base is a battery with a capacity of 105.2 kWh usable. This means that 630 kilometers (WLTP) can be covered. Additionally, the developers have done a lot to keep loading times as short as possible. With active path routing and selected intermediate stops, the thermal management of the battery brings the cells to an optimum temperature in advance, so that charging can be done quickly especially on site. At best, this is possible with an output of 200 kW (direct current). In the first 10 minutes, you can “refuel” up to 150 kilometers of the new range. You haven’t finished your coffee until you stop in the rest so quickly.
Tricks to break the download
Those who charge for longer can in the meantime deal with the little tricks that BMW has introduced to the iX. For example listening to a podcast. Or play with the internal camera. Snaps can be triggered by voice, gesture or touch and sent to friends by scanning a QR code on the screen using the mobile phone. The camera is also useful if someone is tampering with an unauthorized iX. Then the burglar alarm system sends a message to the owner’s smartphone. One click is enough and you can see who is sitting behind the wheel without permission.
What is still missing is a streaming service like the one offered by Tesla, so that one can watch Netflix movies or YouTube videos while charging. Product Manager Carina Gärtner doesn’t want to reveal much just yet, but she does tell us that something similar will be introduced soon for the iX – as an “over the air” software update. (SP-X)
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