It’s been two years since we took our first look at BMW’s new all-electric crossover, which was then known as the iNext. It featured a unique shape and bold design that was specially developed for an EV platform. Now we’re looking at the almost finished product, the 2022 BMW iX. We say almost done because the company needs to do some fine-tuning and finalize some specifications. Otherwise, it will show up on dealer lots in the first half of 2022.
The design is certainly a bit toned down from the concept, but the basic design is largely intact. It has a passive pair of kidneys for the grille, ultra-slim headlights and taillights (the slimmest ever fitted to a BMW) and a unique profile with a short nose, long, slender windshield and long cabin that almost protrudes the ends of the Cars. The design is quite aerodynamic, not only because of the overall shape but also because of the flat bottom and active shutters. The CD is a smooth 0.25. Weight was not given, but given the iX’s aluminum and carbon fiber frame, it shouldn’t be too thick.
The exterior details are also sophisticated. The grille is less of a grille than a windshield for the car’s sensor array. The cameras, radar and other sensors are hidden behind it, and the grille has heating and washing elements to keep it clean in all driving conditions. The door handles are all flush, the doors themselves have no window frames and the badges on the front and back hide functional parts. The front badge opens and shows the filler for washing liquid, which is needed because the hood does not open. Everything under the hood is only for BMW technicians. The rear badge hides the wash sprayer for the rear camera.
The interior is also still conceptually worthwhile – a futuristic celebration. The showpiece is the floating, curved display with two embedded screens. There is a 12.3-inch instrument panel in front of the driver and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen to the right. The screens receive input from touch, an iDrive controller or voice. BMW went out of their way to hide a lot of things like the speakers and carefully integrated the vents to create a simple, minimalist interior. The steering wheel is unique with a hexagonal shape. The roof is made of glass with an electrochromic shade like you can get in McLarens. The back seat was designed to resemble a lounge with the edges fitting into the doors.
The iX is powered by two electric motors that produce an estimated 500 horsepower, with the front motor driving the front wheels and the rear motor driving the rear wheels. BMW says the iX can go from 0 to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds. An underfloor battery supplies the motors with energy. BMW has not given an exact capacity, but estimates that a 300 mile fee should be charged in the EPA test cycle. It can be charged quickly with an output of 200 kW on a DC fast charger, which means that a charge of 80% from 10% can be achieved in under 40 minutes. It will also be possible to get 75 miles in just 10 minutes. The level 2 charger charges at 11 kW and takes about 11 hours to fully charge with this type of charge. This powertrain is part of a modular EV platform that will support other future BMWs.
Production of the iX will begin in the second half of 2021. The crossover will reach US dealers in the first half of 2022. The prices have not yet been announced.