BMW has announced UK pricing and specifications for the BMW iX ahead of the launch of the flagship electric model in November.
The new BMW iX ushers in an exciting new chapter for the brand, the fully electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) being the first model based on a new, modular, scalable toolkit on which the future of the BMW Group will be built. Conceived from the outset for purely electric mobility and sustainable manufacturing techniques, the BMW iX combines locally emission-free driving pleasure and sporting agility with a highly usable operating range and luxurious spaciousness.
What’s more, the BMW Group’s new technology flagship brings together the company’s latest developments in the strategic innovation fields of Design, Automated Driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services to create a premium mobility experience that is unrivalled in its segment. It is the first model to feature the new generation BMW iDrive, powered by Operating System.
When the BMW iX launches later this year, the model range will comprise the BMW iX xDrive50 with a combined output of 523hp and a range of up to 380 miles (WLTP), plus the BMW iX xDrive40 that produces 326hp and is able to cover up to 257 miles on a single charge. Powerful performance is instantaneous and all with zero tailpipe emissions. Both versions are equipped with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, making the iX the very first all-wheel-drive pure electric vehicle produced by BMW.
The impressive battery range is complemented with flexible charging that is designed to be as convenient as possible. DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 195 kW (BMW iX xDrive50) or 150 kW (BMW iX xDrive40). This allows the battery charge to be increased from 10 to 80 per cent in around 35 minutes in the BMW iX xDrive50 or 31 minutes in the BMW iX xDrive40.
Both variants will be available in Sport or M Sport trim levels, with the extensive standard specification including 21-inch alloy wheels, Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, climate comfort windscreen, four-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, wireless phone charging and Shadow Line exterior trim. An array of options, including dedicated Packs that group extras which complement each together, allow for further personalisation.
Also set to join the model line-up at a later date is the BMW iX M60 which, with an expected maximum output in excess of 600hp, promises an exceptionally sporty all-electric driving experience.
The BMW iX will be produced at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. It is thoroughly integrated into the existing manufacturing structures there and will be built on a flexible assembly line together with models from the BMW 5 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series ranges. The plant in Lower Bavaria is the first facility in the BMW Group’s international production network to manufacture all-electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion-engine models on a single assembly line. Both the vehicle itself and the battery cells will be manufactured using green power across the board.
Well-balanced driving characteristics
The body structure, design principle and chassis tuning of the BMW iX are perfectly geared to blending superb ride comfort with sporty handling characteristics. The aluminium spaceframe construction and the Carbon Cage’s use of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the roof and at the sides and rear result in an intelligent material mix that increases rigidity at the same time as minimising weight. The optimised aerodynamic properties that contribute to the car’s drag coefficient of just 0.25 also have a positive impact on efficiency and range.
The high-voltage battery located low down in the car’s underbody lowers the centre of gravity, combining with the even weight distribution to make handling even more agile. Thanks to its well-balanced driving characteristics, the BMW iX feels solid and comfortable out on the road, yet also nimble.
The standard chassis technology for the BMW iX comprises a double-wishbone front axle, five-link rear axle, lift-related dampers and an electric steering system with Servotronic function and a variable ratio. Two-axle air suspension with electronically controlled dampers and Integral Active Steering are standard on BMW iX Drive50 variants, while the M Sport trim level enhances braking performance further still with M Sport brakes as standard.
Both the iX Drive40 and iX Drive50, in either Sport or M Sport specification, feature 21-inch alloy wheels.
2022 BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport – UK Version Front View 3/4
Electric all-wheel drive and near-actuator wheel slip limitation
The electric all-wheel-drive system in the BMW iX transmits exactly the right amount of drive torque to the front and rear wheels in all driving situations. Its intelligent control enables fully variable power transmission ranging from highly efficient pure rear-wheel drive through to an all-wheel-drive set-up that maximises traction. The near-actuator wheel slip limitation technology fitted in tandem with all-wheel drive for the first time brings about a further improvement in traction and handling stability. Integrated into the motor management, this system produces very precise and exceptionally fast corrective inputs to enable the car to make effortless progress, even in adverse weather and road conditions. Aided by the advanced system, the BMW iX xDrive50 posts acceleration of 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, while the BMW iX xDrive40 covers the same sprint in 6.1 seconds.
Highly integrated and efficient drive technology
The fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology fitted in the BMW iX is centred around a drive unit which brings together the electric motor, power electronics and transmission within a single housing. This highly integrated electric drive system topology has a beneficial effect on both power density and efficiency, at the same time as making the most use of the installation space in the area between the front and rear axle.
Both motors in the BMW iX work according to the principle of an electrically excited synchronous motor, where the excitation of the rotor is induced by the feed-in of electrical energy rather than fixed permanent magnets. This enables them to put their maximum torque on tap immediately on pulling away and maintain it over an extremely broad rev range. Combined torque peaks at 630Nm in the BMW iX xDrive40 and an even higher 765Nm in the BMW iX xDrive50.
Adaptive and individually regulated recuperation
Adaptive recuperation gives a further boost to the efficiency and range of the BMW iX. Intelligently connected drive management means the intensity of the brake energy recuperation during overrun and active braking can be adapted to the road situation, as detected by data from the navigation system and the sensors used by the driver assistance systems. When approaching a junction, for example, the degree of recuperation can be increased, working to feed energy back into the high-voltage battery while harnessing the deceleration effect at the same time. On the open road, meanwhile, the coasting function can take over, allowing the car to “freewheel” with no drive power, whenever the driver eases off the accelerator.
Adaptive recuperation is the default setting in driving position D. Alternatively, the driver can choose a high, medium or low Brake Energy Regeneration setting for all driving situations in the BMW iDrive menu. The highest recuperation setting is automatically activated in driving position B, which also produces the characteristic one-pedal feeling.
Information on the energy flow can be viewed in the control display no matter which driving position is selected. The Efficiency Trainer offers hints for driving in a very economical manner, while the range horizon clearly illustrates the impact of driving style on the high-voltage battery’s charge level.
High-voltage battery with the very latest battery cell technology
Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology also includes a high-voltage battery with state-of-the-art battery cell technology. Its volumetric energy density at cell level is up by around 40 per cent compared to the high-voltage battery in the 2020 BMW i3. The BMW iX xDrive50 is fitted with a high-voltage battery with a net energy content of 105.2 kWh (gross energy content: 111.5 kWh), while the battery unit for the BMW iX xDrive40 has a net energy content of 71 kWh (gross energy content: 76.6 kWh).
The standard specification of the BMW iX combines an integrated heating and cooling system for the cabin with anticipatory thermal management for the high-voltage battery and a drive system that operates using an exceptionally efficient heat pump function. Anticipatory thermal management enables the high- voltage battery’s operating temperature to be optimised for quick and efficient charging prior to a scheduled stop at a high-power station.
The Combined Charging Unit (CCU) in the BMW iX has been designed to offer a very high level of charging flexibility. DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 195 kW (BMW iX xDrive50) or 150 kW (BMW iX xDrive40). This allows the battery’s state of charge to be increased from 10 to 80 per cent in around 35 minutes in the BMW iX xDrive50 or 31 minutes in the case of the BMW iX xDrive40. A range of up to 90 miles for the BMW iX xDrive50 and over 59 miles for the BMW iX xDrive40 can be delivered in just ten minutes when they are plugged into a DC high-power station, as long as there is an initial battery charge of 10 per cent or more.
BMW iX models in the UK are supplied complete with the Flexible Charger offering a charging rate of up to 11 kW and a mode 3 charging cable for public charging stations. Retail customers purchasing their iX via the BMW UK Retail Network will receive a BMW Charging card which facilitates access to special tariffs offered by the BMW Charging network. This allows electrical power to be replenished at a very attractive price at both public and high-power charging stations. In addition, ‘bp pulse’ and ‘IONITY Plus’ packages are offered to iX customers without a subscription fee for the first 12 months of ownership. With these additional benefits, BMW iX customers in the UK gain access to one of the world’s largest public charging networks, using just one RFID card or App.
2022 BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport – UK Version Interior
Premiere for the new generation of the BMW iDrive / Operating System 8
The new generation of the iDrive system, display concept and Operating System 8 are making their debut in the BMW iX, making interaction between driver and vehicle even more intuitive than before. They combine to give the BMW iX all the tools needed to serve as an intelligent and proactive partner in any situation. The intuitive, multimodal operation becomes a dialogue between the user and their car that seeks to precisely tailor all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive to the driver’s needs and preferences as the situation demands.
New features available immediately include the expanded capabilities of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and the BMW Curved Display. The all-new BMW Curved Display features a 12.3-inch information display and a control display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches housed together behind a glass surface that is angled towards the driver. The digital personal assistant now boasts additional capabilities and uses a new graphic when communicating with the vehicle’s occupants.
The new My Modes expand the range of vehicle settings that can be selected. Remote Software Upgrades and the option to purchase vehicle functions later from the BMW ConnectedDrive Store via Functions on Demand, with them then installed over the air, will keep the vehicle software up to date in the future. Navigation using the cloud-based system BMW Maps and Augmented Reality Video in the control display ensures quick and accurate route planning, while also making it easy for the driver to find their way on the road.
BMW Digital Key Plus with ultra-wideband radio technology
BMW is a pioneering force in the use of smartphones as digital vehicle keys. The iX offers a new generation of this convenient and secure means of unlocking and starting the vehicle, without the user even having to take their Apple iPhone out of their pocket.
The BMW Digital Key Plus, set to make its debut with the BMW iX, employs the ultra-wideband (UWB) technology already integrated into the vehicle and, for example, the iPhone’s U1 chip. As customers approach the BMW iX, they are welcomed by a staged lighting effect using the exterior lights, and the vehicle unlocks just before they reach the door. Once they have got in, the Apple iPhone can be simply left in the user’s pocket or placed in the smartphone tray for wireless charging; no physical key is required to start the vehicle.
Apple and the BMW Group have been working closely together with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to develop the Digital Key Release 3.0 specification for UWB, which will serve as a global standard for both the automotive industry and smartphone manufacturers. The iPhone’s iMessage service can be used to share a Digital Key with up to five other vehicle users. The Digital Key Plus function is expected to be available from the end of 2021.
Personalisation using the BMW ID
When interacting with the new BMW iDrive, BMW iX customers benefit from increasing personalisation of the user experience based on their own BMW ID. This is used to securely store even more personalised settings and to transfer them between vehicles. A PIN code can be created or the BMW ID associated with a particular key to prevent other users of the vehicle accessing personal data. When signing in to a vehicle for the first time, simply scanning a QR code is all it takes to create a new BMW ID on a smartphone. If the user has the My BMW App and is therefore already in possession of a BMW ID, this will be automatically imported into the car via the app when the QR code is scanned.
The BMW ID can be created and activated effortlessly and securely in vehicles with BMW Operating System 8 or BMW Operating System 7. Once the BMW ID has been imported, the driver will receive a personal greeting which will include the customisable profile image the driver can create in the My BMW App. At the same time, personal settings for seat and steering wheel position, exterior mirrors, navigation system, driver assistance functions, display layouts, shortcuts, favourites and infotainment system settings will be imported automatically.
The most extensive set of standard driver assistance systems ever seen on a BMW
The new technology toolkit in the BMW iX offers considerable potential for driving forward the development of automated driving and parking functions, with the prospect of Level 3 functionality in the medium term. A new generation of sensors, a new software stack and a powerful computing platform provide the basis for exceptional intelligence. Five cameras, five radar sensors and 12 ultrasonic sensors are used to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings.
The BMW iX comes equipped with the most extensive set of standard driver assistance systems ever seen on a BMW, along with a wealth of innovations. The front collision warning system, for instance, now detects oncoming traffic when turning left (in countries where vehicles drive on the right) as well as cyclists and pedestrians when turning right. Availability of the Steering and Lane Control Assistant has been significantly expanded, while the Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function offers enhanced situational distance adjustment.
The exit warning function, which alerts to the presence of cyclists or pedestrians in the surrounding area before the doors are opened, and the Interior Camera are both new features. The Parking Assistant including Reversing Assist Camera and the Reversing Assistant also come as standard on the iX.
Striking exterior design that exudes luxury
The pioneering character of the BMW iX is carried through to its exterior design. The body’s imposing styling with distinctive SAV proportions the precisely crafted details create a distinctive appearance that exudes luxury.
The exterior dimensions of the BMW iX – length: 4,953 millimetres, width: 1,967 millimetres, height: 1,695 millimetres (xDrive50 = 1,696 millimetres) – allow it to combine the functionality of the BMW X5 with the dynamism of the BMW X6 and the imposing appearance of the BMW X7.
Standout exterior features include the almost completely blanked-off BMW kidney grille, the surface of which is the product of innovative manufacturing techniques and which incorporates camera and radar sensors. The full LED headlights are also the slimmest units ever to feature on a series-produced model from BMW.
2022 BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport – UK Version Interior
Shy tech for the exterior: subtly integrated technology
As well as the intelligence panel in the BMW kidney grille, the BMW iX also has an array of other likewise discreetly positioned camera, radar and ultrasonic sensors. These are used by the driver assistance systems to make life easier for the driver in monotonous or unclear situations on the road and espouse the principle of “shy tech”. For example, the distance measurement radar sensors are integrated inconspicuously into the black body edging at the front and rear of the car.
The flush-fitted door openers and the rear-view camera with cleaning system integrated into the BMW badge on the tailgate are further examples of shy tech at work. The underlying principle here is that the technology stays in the background and only becomes apparent as and when the relevant functions are called into action.
Spacious lounge-style interior with a luxurious, contemporary feel
The BMW iX has been meticulously designed from the inside out. The spacious cabin and newly developed seats with integral head restraints set a luxurious tone. The absence of a centre tunnel creates extra legroom and plenty of space for both storage and a centre console designed in the style of a high-quality piece of furniture. The control panel with active haptic input as well as a rocker switch for gear selection adds some very modern touches.
As well as the new BMW Curved Display, the polygonal steering wheel and frameless projector integration for the optional Head-Up Display further add to the focused driving experience. There is also a choice of three different types of upholstery trims for customising the interior.
The automatic climate control system in the BMW iX comes with a nanofibre filter to purify the air and new touchscreen controls. The system intelligently combines interior ventilation and surface, seat and steering wheel heating to maximise the occupants’ comfort.
As standard, iX models receive the Harman Kardon entertainment system, but should customers desire a sound experience that is even more concert hall-like, they can choose the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. This system features speakers integrated out of sight in the head restraints and a 4D Audio function using bass shakers in the front seats.
In addition to acoustic pedestrian protection, the BMW iX also features a specially composed drive sound, which enhances the driving experience by providing authentic feedback in response to accelerator movements and speed. The BMW IconicSounds Electric function included as standard also allows new sound variants from a collaboration with film score composer Hans Zimmer to be added to the available acoustics.
Sport and M Sport trim levels, plus extensive personalisation options
The strong performance nature of the BMW iX is represented in the choice of Sport and M Sport trim levels.
The Sport specification includes a comprehensive list of equipment and features that are designed to optimise the style, comfort and convenience of the iX. Together with the likes of the Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant, BMW Live Cockpit Professional and storage for wireless charging, standard features include climate comfort windscreen, four-zone air conditioning, heated front seats and Shadow Line exterior trim.
Even more eye-catching and purposeful is the M Sport specification. As well as a different style of 21-inch alloy wheels, the exterior is set off with the Aerodynamics pack comprising of M Sport front apron, side apron, rear apron and diffuser, and air curtain. Dark taillight glass completes the appearance of the M Sport, while M Sport brakes and an Anthracite roof lining are also included.
Customers who want to personalise their iX to their own individual requirements can specify a host of options. For convenience, BMW has combined options that complement each other into a series of Packs. For example, the Technology Plus Pack encompasses Parking Assistant Plus/Interior Camera and the Bowers & Wilkins entertainment system, while the Comfort Plus Pack adds supreme refinement courtesy of Comfort Access, soft-close doors, front fully electric seats with massage, front and rear heat comfort system, and ventilated front seats.
Seven individual options are also available, spanning Titan Bronze exterior trim and sun protection glass to a trailer tow hitch.
2022 BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport – UK Version Rear View 3/4
Production at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing using purely green power, monitored raw materials extraction, high proportion of natural and recycled materials
The BMW iX will be produced at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. Both the vehicle itself and the battery cells will be manufactured using green power across the board. The BMW Group procures the cobalt and lithium required for the high-voltage batteries from controlled sources in Australia and Morocco and delivers it to the battery cell manufacturers. The design principle for the electric motors allows the use of rare earth metals to be avoided in the drive system rotors. Added to which, the company sources aluminium produced using power from solar energy plants.
A high proportion of secondary aluminium and reused plastic also contribute to the resource-efficient production of the BMW iX. Its interior uses FSC-certified wood, leather tanned with olive leaf extracts and other natural materials. Recycled fishing nets are among the raw materials used for the floor coverings and mats.