The BMW iX is the Fully Electric SAV is Setting the Industry Standard for EVs
The BMW iX might very well represent the future of the automotive industry. It’s the German automaker’s first-ever fully electric Sport Activity Vehicle. As such, the iX redefines the concept with its streamlined contours and high-tech engineering. Along with an expansive 300-mile driving range a bevy of other unusual features make this one of the most exciting EVs on the market.
For starters, two electric motors provide full-time all-wheel drive while the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body panels help save weight. And despite its lightness overall, the cabin is quite spacious and chocked full of state-of-the-art technology features, including a futuristic-looking curved digital instrument panel screen.
Let’s check out some other features that make this one of the better electronic vehicles – starting at $84,195 – hitting the market soon.
Two versions of the iX are being offered: the xDrive50 powered by a pair of electric motors that make a total of 516 hp and come standard with all-wheel drive. A high-performance model, the M60, will be released later and offer more than 600 hp. The iX will come with optional adjustable air suspension and a rear-wheel-steering system. On the first model you can get from zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 125 mph. Not bad for an all electric vehicle!
The release of the BMW iX heralds the start of the new version of iDrive, the software and infotainment platform that has been at the center of the BMW driving experience for over two decades. This, the eighth version of iDrive, will preside on a new curved display that merges a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and the central 14.9-inch infotainment screen into a single unit. While the size of the screen varies depending on the model, they all bring with them the illusion of floating at the front of the interior. Additionally, the car’s onboard computer can process 20 to 30 times the data volume of previous models, according to BMW. That’s around twice the amount of data of previous models. This means a higher level of autonomous driving thanks to fusion of the iX’s sensors. Advanced driver assistance systems include lane keeping, blind-spot detection, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. The Curved Display’s position facilitates use of the screen’s touch functionality in a way that is intuitive and natural for the driver. The remaining control panel design employs “shy tech” to reduce workload to the very minimum. There are no conventional buttons. Instead, a control surface with “active haptic inputs” subdivided by feeler bars makes it easy for you to select the iDrive menus, driving modes and other functions. A center console armrest is available in a heated version and doubles as a lid for an illuminated storage compartment. The rear console is finished in a high-gloss black trim.
The Hexagonal Steering Wheel
A hexagonally shaped steering wheel comes with a rocker switch for gear selection and meshes well as the BMW Curved Display. It’s all part of the next-generation of BMW Operating System which makes for a futuristic-feeling, seamless exchange between driver and car.
The Panoramic Sunroof
The iX features an optional panoramic sunroof with electrochromic shading as an option. It’s an expansive single piece transparent surface that spans the whole interior – the largest glass roof ever installed in a BMW. This high-tech sunroof gives the interior an open and airy feel, almost like a space-age cockpit, while providing plenty of headroom due to the fact there’s no need for an interior liner. The roof not only looks cool but it features electrochromic shading that can be activating with a button to shield you and your passengers from direct sunlight. The glass roof of the iX is the first of its kind in the auto industry to use Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal technology for shading the interior. That means the roof’s transparency is altered by applying a voltage to the middle layer of film, which allows liquid crystals dispersed as droplets in a polymer matrix to become aligned by electrical energy to allow rays of light to pass through into the interior unimpeded. When “de-energized” crystals instantly distribute themselves in a uneven pattern that creates the effect of shade.
LED Headlights and BMW Laserlight
The iX features the thinnest headlights ever! At least for BMW. You get daytime driving lights with integrated turn signals all within a new design that resembles two-dimensional strips along the upper edge of the headlight units. (The iX comes with full-LED headlights as standard). The lights are recessed back and only become visible when they are switched on. And optional: the current generation of BMW’s Laserlight. This headlight puts off low and high beam from both the inner and outer light sources.
Doors with Integrated Flush Handles and Frameless Windows
In very Bond-like fashion, the iX’s electric door handles fit flush into the door surface. Created in contrasting colors, indirect illumination of the handle recesses provides the handles with a lush backdrop. Thanks to the latest generation of the BMW Comfort Access System, the doors lock and unlock automatically as the owner approaches or walks away from the car via the signal sent to the car from the remote control or from the BMW Digital Key on your smart phone. Additionally, BMW is unveiling doors with frameless windows as part of a large iX Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV). This design feature showcases the sportiness of the iX and gives a sense of flow and liquidity to the side of the vehicle. The effect is further highlighted by the high-gloss black trim.
Aerodynamic Exterior Mirrors
The iX exterior mirrors have an innovative design that helps to reduce wind noise while optimizing aerodynamics and improving visibility all around the car. The mirror bases attach seamlessly to the lower edge of the side window surround creating this perfectly low-noise aerodynamic feature. Each of the mirror caps is painted the same color as the body while the lower edge by the mirror base is painted in high-gloss black, creating contrast.
Modern Minimalist Design
A distinct lack of seams and streamlined contours lend the exterior an air of futuristic sophistication. Aerodynamics are enhanced by the flow of air over the roof all the way to its trailing edge. It’s an effect that is augmented by a diffuser element in the rear bumper. Similarly there are no separation seams in the tailgate, which extends across the rear, highlighting the aerodynamic nature of the vehicle. A rear-view camera is integrated into the black ring of the large BMW logo positioned in the center of the tailgate and is cleaned automatically by an integrated water spray system.
Shy Tech Exterior
Along with the “intelligent design” of the kidney grille (more on that later), the iX has an array of discreetly positioned cameras and sensors to help the driver in all road conditions. Distance measurement sensors blend seamlessly into the black body edging at the front and rear of the automobile The underlying principle of such “shy tech” is that the technology stays in the background and only becomes apparent when the relevant functions are needed and triggered. For example, the front kidney grille is actually an “intelligence surface” that houses radar, cameras and several other sensors and is able to take on digital functions. There’s even a “self-healing” effect thanks to a polyurethane coating that reduces the grille’s susceptibility to damage. The self-healing effect on its surface can repair minor scratches within one day at room temperature or in five minutes if exposed to warm air, according to BMW.