BMW’s boldest statement yet! – Meet BMW’s flagship EV, the iX Sports Activity vehicle

Munich has made a monster out of this one. And the front doesn't look too bad, either.

Today seems to be a day dedicated to BMW’s EVs. The carmaker first announced the price and performance specs for its i4 all-electric sedan, and now it has also revealed the iX SUV, the first-ever electric SUV from BMW. So then, why the iX has been much-talked-about? Let’s find out!

The new-gen of SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) from BMW has a combined output of 516hp and electric AWD, which helps in hitting a ton from standstill in a mere 4.6secs, with a range of up to 475kms. The iX xDrive50 brings together the company’s latest developments in the fields of design, sustainability, connectivity, electrification, and digital services.

Some of the advanced tech making its way in the iX includes DC fast-charging at up to 200kW, a single-piece panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading, the BMW Curved Display, eighth-generation iDrive unit, and the iconic BMW kidney grille serving as an intelligent sensor panel with self-healing capabilities. We are not kidding.

Despite being an EV, let alone an all-electric SUV, the weight of the iX is somehow, not a matter of concern for the maker as it has cleverly done away with carbon fiber reinforced plastic components that together make a ‘Carbon Cage’ for extreme stiffness, low center of gravity, and minimal weight. An optional adaptive air suspension system to the already-fitted “lift-related shock absorbers” that helps in adjusting the firmness progressively according to the changing suspension travel.

If that is not something that finds you pleased, you can also have the optional two-axle air suspension with automatic self-leveling. This feature lets you select the emphasis of the driving experience further towards either comfort or sport mode by considering a range of shock settings and ride heights.

Using the two-axle method, the iX will use the optimum ride height at all speeds, regardless of the load. In its default setting, the SUV is dropped by 10mm when it exceeds 140km/h, but it can also be raised by 20mm for ground clearance purposes. Similarly, in Sport mode, the body lowers itself by 10 mm throughout the entire speed range. Reminds me of Mercedes’ bounce suspension in the GLS. Remember the ‘lowrider’ mode?

Being a flagship EV Bimmer, other areas where improvement has been made includes lighter alloys and noise-reducing tyres. As standard, you have the 20-inchers, but you can also have a go at the 21/22-inch Air Performance wheels which offer a weight reduction of 15%. To further enhance the driving experience, there is a much more advanced TPMS that gives readings of each tyre and indicates what are the correct pressures for the given weight of the vehicle should be.

Making full use of the Servo-tronic and Integral Active Steering, you are promised exceptional directional stability for straight-line driving at high speeds together with excellent precision and feedback when cornering. The optional Integral Active Steering also lets you have a go at the rear-wheel steering for excellent straight-line stability and agility, while also enhancing lane-change manoeuvres.

As for the battery, you have a 115kWh pack which can be warmed up by the excess heat generated by the drive units should you start your vehicle in cooler conditions. Similarly, in case it is too hot outside, a two-level cooling module and other components ensure optimum temperature control for both the eDrive components and the cabin.

Charging via a Level 2 Wall box for AC at a rate up to 11kW will take under 11 hours to get from nothing to 100. Using a DC fast-charger and you can 90 miles of range in under ten minutes and/or get from 10% to 80% in 40 minutes.

Switch to the inside and this is where the magic truly happens – you get the latest version of the iDrive system, BMW Curved Display, a hexagonal steering wheel that helps drivers have a clearer view of the instrument cluster, while a clever HUD now lets you set the angle, height, and brightness according to your needs. You also get a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system with 18 speakers as standard.

Other prominent features include four-zone climate control with a nanofiber filter that promises the cleanest air possible. When is it launching in India? Option for heated surfaces like seats, door panels, steering wheel, armrests, and glove compartment remains on the cards, whereas the electrochromic shading in the panoramic glass roof is activated as soon as the iX xDrive50 is parked.

The iX SUV which has similar width and length to the X5, a height similar to the X6, offers 300 miles of range from two fifth-generation electric synchronous motors. The base MSRP of the iX stands at $83,200 excluding the destination. There’s more – BMW has also confirmed that the more powerful iX M60 with over 600hp is under development, but the official debut date is still a secret.

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Chirag Khanna

I can look at the headlights of a car and can tell which car it is. I am an automobile and motorsports (specializes in F1) geek, for starters. For the main-course, I write.

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