BMW iX preview

Here's the preview to the 2021 BMW iX.

What's this?
BMW’s first bespoke all-electric SUV, called the iX. It has already done an electric SUV in the form of the iX3, but that of course is a zero-emissions version of the existing X3 line, which can be had with petrol and diesel engines as well. The iX, however, will only ever be powered by battery.

What will its rivals be?
It is a direct shot across the bows of existing electric SUVs, in the form of the Audi e-tron, the Mercedes EQC, the Jaguar I-Pace and the Tesla Model X. The BMW iX could also be considered a rival to the forthcoming top model of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, that being the GT with its 465hp motors. Left-field thinking could also see the Polestar 2 considered as an alternative to the iX.

Any tech info?
There will be two models to start with, an iX xDrive40 and an iX xDrive50. Both have electric motors on each axle, so they’re four-wheel-drive machines. The 40 makes 240kW (326hp) while the 50 is punching out 370kW (503hp). That means the 40 will run 0-100km/h in just over six seconds, while the 50 will dip beneath the five-second barrier for the same sprint. Both versions of the electric BMW SUV will be limited to a 200km/h maximum speed.

What will the range be like?
Again, the 50 outplays the 40. On the entry-level model, there’s a 70kWh (gross) battery that allows for a WLTP-certified range of more than 400km. This is at an energy consumption rate of 20kWh/100km, while it can be recharged at 150kW on a DC connection – such a speed allowing for 90km of range to be added in just ten minutes. The xDrive50 gets a larger battery, at100kWh, however, and uses its power at 21kWh/100km. That means it is good for more than 600km on a single charge, while the ability to hook it up to 200kW DC charging points means 120km of range can be added for just ten minutes of maximum-speed charging time. Both battery packs are covered by eight-year, 160,000km warranties.

They’re high, although the BMW’s incredibly challenging exterior aesthetic suggests it’ll have to drive really, really well to overcome its looks. It’ll have a high-tech yet minimalist-design interior, while BMW is proud to say its battery packs contain no rare-earth minerals – so it should protect the planet in more ways than just its zero tailpipe emissions.

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