The good moment
“There is no point in running, you have to leave on time. The adage sticks well to BMW which, nearly 10 years after the i3, is launching its first real all-electric offensive with the iX. The German manufacturer now considers the market to be sufficiently mature and today estimates that half of its sales will come from electric vehicles by 2030.
At first glance, one wonders. Apart from the “bean” grille, the iX has the look of a spaceship. Not a motor vehicle with which one intends to maintain an emotional relationship. From there to present to passing friends his latest acquisition to the tune of “she is not beautiful, my new car? », as one would admire the sunset, there is only one step. On the other hand, emptying the contents of the windscreen washer container under the BMW tablet without even lifting the hood is more likely to attract attention.
The designers of the iX were also well inspired to look into other improvements to make this electric vehicle a benchmark, despite its price. Thus, fans of “wattures” will love the presumed autonomy of this vehicle and its sophistication.
The iX belongs to a category where many extras currently play leading roles. Its arrival, like those of the future Cadillac Lyriq or Volvo XC90, to name only these two, will revive interest in this segment, which is set to grow exponentially in the coming years.
Barely launched, the iX is already out of supply at dealerships for many more months. And the situation is likely to repeat itself next month with the two additional variations (see our boxes) which will be added to the catalogue.
While the Bavarian manufacturer is concocting a new architecture intended for electric thrusters, the iX draws on the current reservoir of BMW parts. Although deeply modified with much more aluminum than usual and carbon-reinforced plastic components, the CLAR platform (its code name) does not belong to the one promised by BMW in 2025. It makes use of it today in because of its compatibility, which allows the Bavarian firm to give birth to it in the same assembly plant as some of its products driven by an internal combustion engine.
In its xDrive50 configuration, the iX relies on the contribution of two electric motors powered by a huge 105.2 kWh lithium-ion battery (useful). This, we guess, will discourage anyone from charging it using a residential outlet.
It’s a fact, this BMW weighs as much as a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. The most curious thing is that this weight is practically not felt, as long as one adopts a flowing conduct.
Helped of course by an air suspension, a four-wheel steering device, an almost perfect distribution and a low center of gravity, the iX file quickly and well.
On open roads, it negotiates long bends with ease. Despite its astonishing agility – compared to its mass – the iX seems less at ease on rough roads. The body roll is noticeable, the body movements are less assured, the seats hardly enveloping, and the steering does not provide the feeling to which BMW has accustomed us. On this subject, driving here requires a certain adaptation, especially since the reaction of the two electric motors is instantaneous. And live.
In fact, the iX is more of a machine for traveling than for driving. Its considerate suspensions encourage long journeys, its reassuring braking and its aerodynamic drag coefficient allows it to cut through the air around it with ease. To these qualities, let’s add the very low decibel level (we only hear the tires and the soundtrack created by the composer Hans Zimmer) which encourages peaceful driving.
The controversy aroused by the exterior style of this BMW fades as soon as the doors open onto an interior where generously padded seats at the front welcome you. Loose, comfortable, but offering insufficient support (especially in curves). There is worse in the back, where the seats, short and low, invite you to travel with your knees between your teeth. Yes, we exaggerate a bit.
As for the trunk, its wide indentation is penalized by the interior trim. On the other hand, the occupants of the front seats will be charmed by this minimalist presentation where the buttons are rare, this curious hexagonal steering wheel or this independent block erected on this perfectly flat floor. And to add to the zenitude of the place, let’s highlight the low height of the dashboard and the astonishing glass surface offering an unparalleled panoramic view.
But that inner peace will only be achieved when you’ve mastered the maze of functions built into the on-board displays. These require a certain period of adaptation.
- From $82,859.73 to $124,619.73
Visible in dealerships
- Now, but you have to order
- Ride comfort and silence
- Reassuring autonomy (xDrive50)
- Minimalist and original interior presentation
We love less
- Pachyderm weight
- Low seat and lacking in depth
- Price and availability
- Beyond the style, there are the benefits. And they are amazing to say the least.
- 2 electric motors (xDrive50)
- Combined power: 516 hp
- Maximum torque: 564 lb-ft
- Weight: 2567 kg
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 4.5s
- Maximum speed: 200 km/h
- Standard: automatic
- Optional: none
- Drive mode: all-wheel drive
Battery capacity/assumed range
- Li-ion battery: 106.3 kWh (useful: 105.2 kWh) / 521 km (manufacturer’s data)
- Wheelbase: 3000mm
- Length: 4953mm
- Height: 1696mm
- Width: 1967 mm (exterior mirrors excluded)
An SUV can hide a sedan
Along with the launch of the iX, BMW is also beginning the first deliveries of the i4 (starting at $58,244). Even more than the iX, this electric sedan closely matches the dynamic qualities associated with the propeller brand. The i4 offers two configurations, but has only one target: the Tesla Model 3.
Already two new members
The iX xDrive50 (our test bed) will be joined by two other versions in June. The iX M60 (our photo), whose sale price has been set at $121,750 and which is capable of shooting down the 0-100 km in 3.8 s, but hardly able to travel more than 450 km on a full charge. The second version, the iX xDrive40, will serve as an entry-level model, with a reduced capacity battery allowing it a range of some 320 km.
Wired or wireless, it’s the same price
(New York) – Afraid of putting all its eggs in one basket, BMW intends to divide its offer to better reign in the high-end segment. The Bavarian brand will therefore offer, from the fall, a thermal version and another electric version of its 7 Series sedan at the same price ($147,000).
Presented on the sidelines of the New York Motor Show, this seventh generation intends to allow BMW to regain its crown as the number 1 luxury brand. And above all to remind Tesla and its Model S that “they are no longer unique”, to hammer Pieter Nota, Member of the Management Board of BMW AG, in an interview attended by The Press.
Tesla’s success is annoying, but the Bavarian manufacturer intends to “put an end” to the dominance of Elon Musk’s company on the all-electric market.
While acknowledging that the “electric revolution has started earlier than expected”, Mr. Nota believes that BMW is not in its wake. The order books for the iX and i4 are already full and BMW will make sure to speed up their production in order to reduce delivery times to consumers as much as possible.
A fully stocked 7 Series
In terms of accessories, the 7 Series refuses nothing. More than 45 pages accompanied the presentation of this model. Among the most notable features is the presence of a gigantic 31.3-inch screen to allow rear-seat occupants to watch the fourth season of Pilots of their destiny (Drive to Survive), for example.
BMW also introduced the i7, which has an alleged range of 496 km on a full charge and uses a 101.7 kWh (usable) battery. This powers two electric thrusters whose power combination is equivalent to 536 hp and 539 lb-ft of torque. At BMW, it is estimated that it will take 4.7 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standing start and that the i7 will be able to reach a top speed (electronically limited) of 240 km/h. Beyond the numbers, the i7 intends to offer an experience where anxiety has no place and where comfort is king. Thus, the i7 will be able to program the route and the stops necessary for recharging as soon as an address is noted in the navigation system.
The 760i is not to be outdone and raises its hood to an unprecedented eight-cylinder (536 hp, 553 lb-ft of torque). With a displacement of 4.4 L, this thermal engine benefits from a light hybridization (48 V). However, the German manufacturer has not communicated the consumption of this powertrain or the gains recorded compared to its predecessor. “The internal combustion engine is not dead at BMW,” assures Mr. Nota. The latter is of the opinion that the threats to ban this motorization are not realistic. “Soon, very soon, governments will realize that this 2030, 2035 target is unattainable. And BMW is not the only manufacturer of this opinion.
Share your experience
The Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Acura Integra, BMW i4, Kia Sportage, Nissan Z, Subaru WRX, Toyota bZ4X, Volkswagen Jetta (GLi) and Volvo C40 Recharge. If you own one of these vehicles or are waiting for delivery, we would love to hear from you.