BMW's pure-electric next-generation vehicle was officially presented on Nov 12, 2020. The BMW iX is the first representative SUV for the electric flagship series. Its estimated WLTP range is 600 kilometers. The iX uses about 21 kWh of electricity per 100 kilometers. It still carries the signature BMW kidney grille design. In the hottest SUV market, iX is expected to take a certain portion of the market share for this high-end German brand.
BMW iX will be revealed more thoroughly in this week. As of press time, its launch time is confirmed to be in second half of 2021. The actual delivery date will be in 2022, and its price is not yet announced.
Speaking of pure-electric vehicles, BMW was one of the earliest pioneers since decades ago. Having prepared for a long time, the next-generation vehicle model was finally presented on November 12. There were lots of news about BMW Vision iNext in the past, and iNext is now officially renamed as the BMW iX, a production model in the BMW i series.
The iX's energy efficiency is quite excellent. Its new charging technology allows DC rapid charging at up to 200kW. In other words, the battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in around 40 minutes. Each minute of charging promises about 1.2 kilometers of range. As for the slow charging, the level 2 AC chargers' 11 kW voltage is much better than the currently-available 7kW.
When it comes to the increased range, there are 3 major determining factors: battery capacity, coefficient drag (Cd), and power output. In terms of capacity, iX's total battery capacity is enormous, at least 120 kWh. As for the improved coefficient drag, its exterior design indirectly helped raise the Cd. Like many car makers, after they redesigned electric vehicle models, because EV's cabin space is so much bigger, new pure-electric vehicle's coefficient drag is apparently lowered. The BMW iX's drag was only 0.25 Cd. This figure was far lower than 0.33 of X6, but slightly higher than 0.23 of the BMW 3 series.
For the power output, the front and back electric motors produce a maximum output of around 500 hp. This iX can power from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in about 5 seconds.
In respect of renewable sustainability, BMW stressed that during the process of building the next generation power system, there was no rare earth raw materials used.
With reference to its digital services, according to BMW's official website, iX's automotive computer is another major improvement that iX brings out. When comparing to pre-iX models in BMW, iX's computing power is 20 times of any one of them. Therefore, iX can offer greater driving assist systems.
BMW's i3 and i8 are pioneers in the EV industry. In comparison, iX marks whole new beginning. According to BMW, there are 20 designers in the iX team, and they redesign everything for this model. This team is almost like an internal startup in this classic automaker. Because they aim to fully develop all the potentials that a pure electric car can yield, this path is the only way to achieve that.
Even that was the case, the core signature symbols of BMW are still on iX. In particular, the kidney grille is still in the front of iX.
BMW iX's design concept is called "Shy Tech", which can be thought of as a low-key high tech. Take the gear position near a driver as an example; it looks like a wooden surface, but the surface is actually a touchscreen. BMW's Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, says that the iX's high tech functions stay in the background and only becomes visible when they are being used. You don't feel them when you don't need them. Such a low-key design concept is applied in iX's interior and exterior designs, including user interfaces and sensor systems.
The iX uses some strengths of X5, X6, and X7 in the exterior designs, but with simplistic curves, iX was given unique touches. To sum up, these many elements of iX will be the new beginning of BMW electric vehicle series in the future. There are many more different new models being developed.
(Photo credit: BMW)