This Fully Electric BMW SAV is Setting the Industry Standard with a Host of Impressive High Tech Features
The BMW iX is the German automaker’s first-ever fully electric Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV).
Among other things, the iX has two powerful electric motors putting out a total of 500 horsepower. With one electric engine at the rear axle and one at the front – both drawing from a high-voltage 100-kWh battery – the iX can take you from zero to 60 in 5.0 seconds flat and provides an impressive range of 300 miles.
The BMW iX also comes with DC fast charging capability as standard and can charge the battery with enough power to provide 75 miles of driving range in just about the same time it takes to listen to Stairway to Heaven. The muscular yet streamlined exterior houses a tech-filled cabin that includes an attractive curved digital instrument panel screen. But the tech is not confined to the interior.
With these streamlined contours and high-tech engineering, the iX redefines the concept of electric vehicle.
A couple of weeks ago we looked at several other features that make this one of the hottest EVs coming on the market
Optimized Aerodynamics for Increased Range
Thanks to Efficient Dynamics BMW has reduced fuel consumption and emissions for several years. In the BMW iX this plays out in a new way with an ultra-efficient electric drive system as well as its aerodynamic properties and light weight. In other words, reduced air resistance and intelligent lightweight design help give the car its expansive range. That reduction in drag also improves handling and even the driving experience itself. This is due to the state-of-the-art bodywork structure with an aluminum spaceframe and pioneering Carbon Cage. The positioning of the A-pillars much further forward is one main difference from other BMWs. And the compact design of the eDrive technology gives you more room inside. The low drag is made possible by the streamlined body, the tapered glasshouse and flush-fitting door handles, among other things. All of this gives the iX the most outstanding aerodynamics for its class.
Lower Air Resistance and Weight: Air Performance Wheels
Twenty-inch light-alloy wheels with an aerodynamically optimized design are standard on the iX. Moreover, mostly enclosed surfaces bring about an effective reduction in the air turbulence produced around the wheels. And optional 21-inch and 22-inch Air Performance Wheels further reduce drag in a very high tech way. These wheels combine optimized aerodynamic properties within the elegance of a V-spoke aluminum wheel. Air Performance Wheels are made of an aluminum base wheel with customized inserts between the spokes. The result is a flat design that provides smoother airflow. And they weigh 15 percent less than conventional light-alloy wheels. All of this combined helps increase range by as much as 9 miles.
The super light aluminum spaceframe body structure of the BMW iX is a first for its segment. The carefully crafted materials increase body rigidity and crash safety while keeping weight as low as possible. The Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic components are light and rigid in the body’s side, rear and roof areas, forming a central element of the safety concept for the “BMW iX passenger cell.” That means the side frame, rain channels, roof frame, cowl panel and rear window frame combine to form a “Carbon Cage.” The Carbon Cage has evolved from the Carbon Core used in the 7 Series.
The interior of this electric BMW is not only super roomy but filled with high-end materials including newly developed seating and a single-piece panoramic glass roof, proving plenty of room for five seats. It’s all about the needs of you and your passengers. And the employed eDrive concept means there is no center tunnel, contributing to the open feel and plenty of legroom in front and back. The well-crafted center consule provides plenty of storage space, something you might not expect in a sporty car. Displays and controls are refined down to their essential nature. This makes for a minimalistic relaxing driving experience free of clutter and fuss. The “shy tech” in the interior includes hidden speakers, air vents, radiant heated surfaces and the discreet recessing of the BMW Head-Up Display’s projector into the instrument panel. “We designed the BMW iX from the inside out,” says Domagoj Dukec, Vice President BMW Design. “In the process, we took particular care to create a modern, warm and minimalist interior design with a very spacious feel.”
Expect nothing less than modern, even space-age, luxury as the iX sets the minimalistic tone for the future of electric cars. The door panel layout includes a diagonal split using different colors and materials. Door pull-handles are seamlessly integrated into the diagonal accent strip that houses the button for activating the electric door opening function. Even the buttons for adjusting the seat position are simply and ergonomically located on top of the front doors while memory buttons are positioned directly alongside. The passenger-side armrest include a compartment for holding a mobile phone. The audio system’s midrange speakers are embedded beneath the door panels’ fabric trim. Newly designed driver and front passenger seat include integrated head restraints for a very sporty look. And for the first time in a BMW you can integrate speakers right into the seat structure with sound sources positioned beneath the surface in the head restraint and lumbar support areas. All seats have multi-way electric adjustment as well as seat heating. Also available are seat ventilation and massage functions
Lounge-Style Rear Seating Ambience
Three passengers can fit on the rear bench seat and the two outer seats include built in head restraints while the center seat has a restraint that can be folded down as needed. There is plenty of legroom and an open airy feeling that reinforces the lounge ambiance and overall comfort. The BMW Travel & Comfort system integrated into the front seats can be used by rear passengers to attach coat hooks or hold tablet devices.
Slim Instrument Panel With Curved Display
The skinny instrument panel is covered in either standard Sensatec, optional microfiber fabric or natural leather is another show stopper inside the iX. The instrument panel rises up toward the front of the vehicle giving it a futuristic appeal with a fully digital display. This is the debut of the curved display and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s held seamlessly in place by a supporting structure that is nearly invisible to passengers, so it appears to be floating or freestanding. The high-definition display technology employs reflective glass and gives it a clean-line look. “The BMW iX is the first model from the BMW Group to feature the impressive high-resolution Curved Display, which is far larger and sharper than the displays in our current models,” remarks Frank Weber of BMW Board of Management. “As a result, the BMW iX interior points the way ahead for cockpit design in future BMW models.” The display and its curving lines serves as the central screen control element. But it’s a new spin on the driver-centric design of BMW cockpits thanks in part to bringing together the 12.3-inch driver Information Display and the center 14.9-inch Control Display to form a single unit angled towards the driver. Brought together, this driver-focused display optimizes how information is displayed and makes the intuitive touch control even simpler to use. Additionally, the display section can still be clearly viewed and easily operated by the front seat passenger.
BMW Head-Up Display with Frameless Projector Integration
New for 2021 the Head-Up Display projector is flush inside the instrument panel. There is no frame, which allows it to be hidden. The information projected by the BMW Head-Up Display includes your vehicle’s speed, speed limits, status indicators and warnings from the driver assistance systems, among many other pieces of information. You can adjust the angle, height and brightness of the display.According to BMW: “The combination of the Head-Up Display and the Curved Display’s fully digital screen grouping represents an excellent solution for conveying information in any given driving situation. The projection system in the BMW iX is designed so that the driver perceives the Head-Up Display graphics as being approximately ten feet in front of the vehicle. This projection distance allows information to be absorbed with the greater ease as it enables the driver to assimilate readouts accurately without having to adjust their gaze in normal driving situations.”
Automatic Climate Control with New Controls and Integral Nanofiber Filter
You have access to 2.5-zone or optional 4-zone automatic climate controls. High tech nano-filter technology purifies the air and pre-heating and pre-conditioning functions are standard. “Nanofiber filter technology is more effective than normal filter systems, removing virtually all particles from the interior air in a matter of minutes when air recirculation mode is switched on. Drivers are able to use the My BMW app to activate the air conditioning system’s ventilation function before the journey starts in order to purify the air in the cabin quickly and thoroughly,” according to BMW.
Radiant Surface Heating and LED Interior Lighting
This is the first BMW to offer you optional radiant surface heating for the instrument panel, glove compartment, door panels, center armrest and even the steering wheel to create a comfortably warm interior for driver and passengers alike. All inside lighting is LED and controls have white backlighting, which makes it easy to locate.
The Harman Kardon sound system is standard and gives you a top notch listening experience. It comes with a 7-band equalizer, eighteen speakers, 655 watts of audio power and more. You also get four built-in speakers in the rear head restraints that complement five midrange and five tweeter speakers. Two central bass speakers and two additional subwoofers located under the rear seat ensure a powerful sound performance. The tweeters sit behind perforated grilles and midrange speakers are hidden beneath the door panels’ fabric trim of this BMW electric car.
Some of the other features that make the this BMW electric vehicle great:
- Integrated interfaces, and unobtrusive “Shy Tech” create naturalistic interactions in a digital world.
- A drivetrain generates more than 370 kW/500 hp and allows a range of over 300 miles of range.
- New charging technology that allows DC rapid charging with an output of up to 200 kW. The battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent of its total capacity in less than 40 minutes.
- Comfort Access technology that sets off a welcoming light display and automatically unlocks the doors for you.
- A hidden world of interaction and functionality at your fingertips thanks to Shy Tech features that are subtle yet engaging.
- Access to the nation’s largest fast charging network through the BMW Charging app and EvGo.
- iDrive 8 software that allows for customization of menus and graphics while providing a voice-activated assistant.
- A 14.9-inch infotainment display that combines with a 12.3-inch digital gauge display inside the high tech dashboard design, where Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as is Wi-Fi hotspot with a 5G cellular.
- An 18-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo system is standard or you can upgrade to a 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system.
- Twenty-inch alloy wheels that have been optimized for aerodynamics are standard and you can upgrade to 21- and 22-inches.