It has been two years since we got our first look at BMW’s new, electric-only crossover, then called the iNext. It featured a unique shape and bold styling designed specifically for an EV platform. Now we get a look at the nearly finished product, the 2022 BMW iX. We say nearly finished because the company has some fine-tuning to do and some specifications to finalize. But otherwise, this is what will be showing 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 has survived mostly 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 featuring a short nose, long, sleek windshield, and a long cabin that almost sticks out over the ends of the car. The design is quite aerodynamic, not just because of the overall shape but also the flat underside and active shutters. The Cd is a slick 0.25. Weight hasn’t been given, but considering the iX’s aluminum and carbon fiber space frame, it shouldn’t be too portly.
The exterior details are nifty, too. The grille is not so much a grille, and almost more of a windshield for the car’s sensor array. The cameras, radar and other sensors are hidden behind it, and the grille features heater and washer elements to keep it clean in all driving conditions. The door handles are all flush fit, the doors themselves have no window frames, and the badges front and rear hide functional parts. The front badge pops open to reveal the washer fluid filler, which is needed because the hood doesn’t open. Anything under the hood is for BMW techs only. The rear badge hides the washer sprayer for the rear camera.
The interior is also still concept-worthy — a futuristic feast. The showpiece is the floating curved display that features two embedded screens. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch instrument panel, and to the right is a 14.9-inch infotainment screen. The screens will receive inputs from touch, an iDrive controller or via voice. BMW has gone to lengths to hide many things such as the speakers, and has carefully integrated air vents in order to provide a simple, minimalist interior. The steering wheel is unique with a hexagonal shape. The roof is glass with an electrochromic shade like what you can get in McLarens. The rear bench seat has been designed to evoke a lounge, with the edges blending into the doors.
Powering the iX will be a pair of electric motors making an estimated 500 horsepower, with the front motor driving the front wheels and the rear motor driving the back. BMW says the iX will be able to go from 0 to 62 mph in under 5 seconds. An under-floor battery supplies energy to the motors. BMW hasn’t given an exact capacity, but it estimates that it should go 300 miles on a charge on the EPA test cycle. It can charge quickly, with a rate of 200 kW on a DC fast charger, which means an 80% charge can be obtained, starting from 10%, 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 a full charge will take about 11 hours on that type of charger. This powertrain is part of a modular EV platform that will underpin other future BMWs.
Production of the iX begins in the second half of 2021. The crossover will reach U.S. dealers in the first half of 2022. Pricing has not yet been announced.