This is the new iX electric SUV, and even by BMW‘s standards, there’s quite a lot going on. We have a similar enormo-grille similar to the arrangement seen on the new 4-series, an abundance of creases, and some (optional) splashes of blue to remind you of this thing’s eco-credentials.
It’s another BMW with styling which will divide opinion, but we need to try and look past all that, as this is a hugely significant car. A production follow-up to the iNext concept, it’s referred to as the “dawn of a new era” for the firm, packing two electric motors and a 100kWh battery pack.
It’s a big step up in terms of power and range from its much smaller sibling, the dinky i3. You’re looking at over 500bhp, making for a 0-62mph time under five seconds (which should give you a clue as to how heavy it is), and a WLTP range of 372 miles (600kmh) or 300 if measured by EPA standards.
Once you’re out of power, 200kW charging capability means - with the right kind of charge station - the batteries can be juiced to 80 per cent from flat in 40 minutes. With an 11kW domestic wall box, it’ll take around 11 hours.
The iX is the first production vehicle to sit on BMW’s new scalable EV architecture, which consists of an aluminium spaceframe and a carbon fibre ‘cage’. The car is 5G capable and can process 20 times the data volume of anything Munich has made before.
While the exterior won’t be to everyone’s tastes, the interior should win more people over. It’s a minimalist space that takes full advantage of the new platform and powertrain (there’s no transmission tunnel bulging through the carpet), with some of the speakers neatly “integrated out of sight,” BMW says.
Behind the hexagonal steering wheel is a curved display unit housing the digital instrument cluster (12.3-inch) and infotainment screen (14.9-inch), which both run on BMW’s next-gen operating system. Even the panoramic roof is clever - it’s an ‘electrochromic’ panel which adjusts its tinting according to the brightness of the sun.
BMW is getting ahead of itself a little by revealing the iX now given that development is ongoing. It’ll be a year before it goes on sale, with the 100kWh version of the Audi E-Tron rival expected to cost around £100,000. Cheaper versions with smaller battery packs will inevitably follow.