A vision is turning into reality, as the BMW Vision iNEXT becomes the BMW iX. With a year still to go before its market launch and the series development phase ongoing, the BMW Group is providing a first look ahead to the future BMW iX.
The BMW iX, whose market launch will get underway in late 2021, heralds a new age in mobility and focuses on a fresh interpretation of design, sustainability, driving pleasure, versatility and luxury. It is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable toolkit on which the future of the BMW Group will be built. Conceived from the outset for purely electric mobility, the iX sees BMW redefining the successful Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) concept.
2022 BMW iX:
The BMW iX will go into production at BMW Plant Dingolfing from the second half of 2021 as the BMW Group’s new technology flagship. It brings together the company’s latest developments in the strategic innovation fields of Design, Automated Driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services.
Added to which, the vehicle concept and design of the BMW iX are rooted in an all-embracing approach to sustainability. This is reflected in areas of the car such as its optimised aerodynamics, intelligent lightweight design and extensive use of natural and recycled materials, which help to create a cutting-edge sense of luxury and comprehensive feeling of wellbeing on board.
The fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology – which encompasses the two electric motors, the power electronics, the charging technology and the high-voltage battery – guarantees exceptional efficiency. The power unit developed by the BMW Group and manufactured sustainably without the use of critical raw materials known as rare earths will, by the most recent calculations, develop maximum output of more than 370 kW/500 hp. That will be enough to power the BMW iX from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5.0 seconds.
At the same time, the vehicle’s clear aim is to post an exceptionally low combined electric power consumption figure for its segment of less than 21 kWh per 100 kilometres (62 miles) in the WLTP test cycle. A gross energy content of more than 100 kWh should enable the latest-generation high-voltage battery to record a range of over 600 kilometres in the WLTP cycle. That equates to more than 300 miles according to the EPA’s FTP-75 test procedure.
The new charging technology of the BMW iX enables DC fast charging at up to 200 kW. In this way, the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in under 40 minutes. Added to which, within ten minutes enough energy can be fed into the battery to increase the car’s range by more than 120 kilometres (75 miles). It takes less than eleven hours to charge the high-voltage battery from 0 to 100 per cent at 11 kW from a Wallbox.
The batteries fitted in the BMW iX are designed as part of a long-term resource cycle and enable an exceptionally high recycling rate. The power used to produce the battery cells and the high-voltage battery as a whole come exclusively from renewable sources.
The new technology toolkit making its debut in the BMW iX also provides the platform for significant progress in the areas of automated driving and digital services. For example, the level of computing power has been developed to process 20 times the data volume of previous models. As a result, around double the amount of data from vehicle sensors can be processed than was previously possible.
The BMW iX is cut from the mould of a modern SAV but with a new, reduced design language front and centre. The imposing design of its exterior is shaped by a small number of precise lines and gives the car a powerful, robust and clearly defined appearance. It shines the spotlight on the functional attributes of the BMW iX as a locally emission-free model and an experience space delivering comfortable mobility both in day-to-day use and over longer journeys.
With its exterior dimensions, the BMW iX combines the functionality of the BMW X5 with the dynamism of the BMW X6 and the visual impact of the BMW X7. The result is a distinctive re-imagining of the powerful proportions of a large BMW SAV.
The BMW iX is comparable with the BMW X5 in length and width, and is almost the same height as the BMW X6 on account of its flowing roofline. The size of its wheels, meanwhile, brings to mind the BMW X7.
A wheelbase measuring exactly 3,000 millimetres and wide tracks at both the front and rear axle provide the ideal platform for chassis tuning which reconciles luxurious long-distance comfort and sporty cornering characteristics. The car’s standalone design language also optimises aerodynamic efficiency, which has a positive effect on range.
The powerful appearance of the BMW iX is also underscored by the simplified design of its surfaces. The minimalist use of character lines and generously shaped surfaces conjure an aura of supreme assurance. The crisp lines, clear structure and almost rectangular contours around the wheel arches contribute to an imposing body design. And the reduced design language steers the eye onto precisely constructed details which accentuate the sophisticated character, brand identity and optimised aerodynamics of the BMW iX.
The front-end design of the BMW iX imbues it with eye-catching presence. The signature BMW visuals – a joint production of distinctive BMW kidney grille and equally familiar twin headlights – have been newly interpreted with a dash of futuristic style. At the centre of the front end stands the prominent, vertically emphasised kidney grille whose surface has a three-dimensional pyramid structure.
Since the electric drive system of the BMW iX requires only a small amount of cooling air, the kidney grille is completely blanked off. Its role has duly turned digital and here it functions as an intelligence panel. Camera technology, radar functions and other sensors are integrated seamlessly into the grille behind a transparent surface. The heating elements and cleaning system for the sensors are also embedded in the grille front.
The slimmest headlight units ever to feature on a series-produced model from BMW provide a fresh and extremely minimalist take on BMW’s familiar four-eyed face. The daytime driving lights have a new design as twodimensional strips along the upper edge of the headlight units – and fit effortlessly into the imposing design language of the exterior. This gives the headlights a totally new appearance in daylight and emphasises the assured presence of the front end. The daytime driving light strips include the turn indicator function.
The BMW iX is fitted as standard with full-LED headlights. The darkened light fixtures are set well back into the inner sections of the headlights and therefore only become visible when switched on. The fixtures in each headlight unit team up to generate both low and high beam.
The latest generation of BMW Laserlight is available as an option, teaming Adaptive LED Headlights with matrix function and a new type of Laserlight module. This headlight variant also generates low and high beam from both the outer and inner light sources. The matrix function of the BMW Selective Beam high beam increases visibility range and, at the same time, avoids dazzling other road users.
The bonnet of the BMW iX, with its pronounced three-dimensional sculpting, extends all the way up to the headlights and BMW kidney grille. All of the bonnet lines converge dynamically on the kidney grille and the BMW logo above it. The roundel has a functional component, serving as the filler neck for the washer fluid sent to the windscreen and rear window wipers. It opens and closes again – once the fluid has been topped up – with a gentle push. The bonnet does not have an opening mechanism for use by the customer; the driver system technology and power electronics below the surface can only be accessed by workshop technicians.
When the BMW iX is viewed from the side, its reduced design language accentuates the modern and very distinctive styling of the all-electric SAV. The cutting-edge and minimalist surface sculpting creates an athletic body whose uncomplicated appearance is highlighted by its small number of precise lines. The almost rectangular contours of the front and rear wheel arches are a head-turning element of the exterior design. They adopt one of the original design features of the BMW X family and underscore the car’s powerful stance.
A hallmark exterior design element of BMW i cars in the side window graphic and transition into the rear end appears here in updated form. The tapering of the window graphic towards the rear and the forward-slanting C-pillar underline the dynamic lines of the car’s silhouette. The “stream flow” of converging lines mimics the airflow along the flanks of the car. On the BMW iX, this distinctive graphic takes the form of a black surface connecting the rear side windows and rear window, and carries the inscribed model badge.
The clear proportions of the BMW iX are showcased particularly effectively when viewing the car from the side. The design of the doors enhances the impression of a muscular vehicle body. A small number of character lines bring structure to their surfaces, increasing their visual size.
The door openers are embedded flush into the door surfaces and are finished in a contrasting colour. The electric door openers, which are operated at the press of a button, and the optional Soft Close function enable easy entry and exit.
Indirect illumination of the handle recesses provides them with a high-class backdrop. With the latest generation of the optional Comfort Access system, the doors lock or unlock automatically as the owner approaches or walks away from the car. The required signal is sent to the car using the radio remote control or the BMW Digital Key (via the customer’s smartphone).
Doors with frameless windows are making their debut in a large BMW SAV. Only previously seen on BMW coupes, this construction underlines the sporting character of the BMW iX and brings a flowing appearance to the side window graphic as a whole. The High-gloss Black trim for the B-pillars provides an attractive contrast against the body colour. Three layers of sealing around the doors provide excellent acoustic comfort.
The innovative design of the exterior mirrors on the BMW iX helps to reduce wind noise and optimise aerodynamics and all-round visibility. The super-slim mirror bases attach to the lower edge of the side window surround, removing the need for the classical mirror triangle at the front of the side windows. The mirror caps are painted in body colour and bordered at their lower edge by the mirror base in High-gloss Black, creating an attractive colour contrast. The slim geometry of the mirrors and precisely positioned aero lips enhance aeroacoustics. The turn indicators, which measure only around two millimetres in width and are integrated into the exterior mirrors behind glass covers, produce an extremely consistent light.
Among the design features familiar from classical BMW X models is the black surround at the lower edge of the body. On the BMW iX this extends a long way up and forms a band around the whole of the car, from the front apron along the flanks into the rear. The charging socket is located in the same place as the fuel filler neck on conventionally powered BMW models – i.e. behind a flap on the right-rear wheel arch.
The character of the BMW iX is also faithfully reflected in the design of the rear end. The modern and minimalist design of the generously sized surfaces generates an expressive appearance which accentuates the powerful stature and width of the BMW iX particularly keenly. The minimalist design language with a small number of joints and character lines exudes an aura of clarity and sophistication. The aerodynamics of the BMW iX are further enhanced by the flow of air over the roof all the way to its trailing edge, and by a diffuser element in the rear apron.
The tailgate has no separation joints and extends across the whole of the rear, showcasing the expressive surfacing to particularly vivid effect. The rear-view camera is integrated unobtrusively into the black ring of the large BMW logo positioned in the centre of the tailgate. The camera lens is cleaned automatically by a water spray system which extends as required from behind the surface of the roundel.
The single-piece rear lights are set neatly into the tailgate, which sweeps a long way into the flanks. Like the headlights, the rear lights have a slimmer design than on any previous series-produced BMW Group vehicle. All of the light functions use LED technology. The light fixtures are integrated directly into the three-dimensional lens cover mouldings, creating an extremely bold appearance. The L shape familiar from other BMW models is reprised in a modern interpretation within the single light strip housing both the rear lights and brake lights, and also comprising the horizontal turn indicators, which only become visible when active.
The reversing light and rear fog lights are located along with the reflector in a likewise extremely slim strip in the rear apron’s diffuser. Secondary light units positioned at the outer edges of the car beyond the tailgate opening include turn indicators, rear lights and brake lights, ensuring that the relevant light signals are still visible when the tailgate is open.
The basic BMW iX has numerous design accents which sport the signature blue shade adopted by BMW i and therefore indicate the presence of an electric drive system and sustainable vehicle concept. As well as the blue circle of the BMW logo on the bonnet and tailgate, these elements also include blue accents in the outer areas of the bumper, which visually emphasise the optimised air ducting in the front end. A blue accent strip in the side skirts references the presence of the high-voltage battery positioned low down in the floor section of the BMW iX.
In the lower section of the rear apron, two blue trim elements positioned to the outer edges stand out from the standard black surfaces. They border the separate light units and the diffuser element, and highlight both the excellent aerodynamic attributes of the BMW iX and its electric drive system. Where the exhaust tailpipes of conventionally powered models would normally extend out to the rear, these accents make a powerful statement for sustainable mobility.
The BMW iX will be offered as an option with a Sport package. For its first public appearance, the purely electrically powered SAV will adopt the Cashmere Silver metallic paint shade from the extensive selection of exterior colours – or the BMW Individual paint finish Aventurine Red metallic if the Sport package is fitted.
The Sport package gives the electrically powered SAV an aura of great potency. The classic front-end look of three very large air intakes has been re-thought. Large, triangular “shields” at the outer edges of the front apron guide the onrushing air to the Air Curtains, optimising the flow of air around and through the car body.
Added to which, the bordering at the lower edges of the body, the specially moulded side skirts and the integrated door handles are in High-gloss Black. The central section of the wrap-around trim band is painted in body colour in both the front and rear apron.
The inserts framing the diffuser element low down in the rear apron are painted in body colour in place of the standard blue paint finish. Another exclusive feature are the eye-catching rear lights with smoked glass. And the Sport package for the BMW iX also includes aerodynamically optimised 21-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design with Midnight Grey finish, plus Sport brakes with blue-painted callipers.
The BMW Individual Exterior Line Titanium Bronze finish can be ordered as an option. Also available in conjunction with the Sport package, its carefully selected colour accents lend the BMW iX a particularly exclusive aura. The three-dimensional structural elements within the BMW kidney grille, the door openers, the lower edging of the side windows – which extends into the D-pillar – and the inserts in the outer areas of the rear apron have surfaces in Titanium Bronze. From any angle, this creates a sophisticated impression exuding modern luxury.
The BMW iX rides as standard on 20-inch light-alloy wheels with an aerodynamically optimised design. The Air Performance Wheels – optionally available in 21-inch and 22-inch formats – help to reduce drag in a very innovative way. The BMW Group is the world’s first carmaker to use this groundbreaking wheel design, which unites optimised aerodynamic properties with all the elegance of a V-spoke aluminium wheel.
The aluminium spaceframe construction used for the body structure of the BMW iX is another first for its segment. The materials selected and manufacturing processes employed are both precisely matched to the requirements of each specific component in order to increase body rigidity and crash safety while keeping weight as low as possible.
Remarkably light yet extremely torsion-resistant CFRP components in the body’s side, rear and roof areas form a key element of the safety concept for the BMW iX passenger cell. At the same time, the car’s agility is given a further boost by the resulting weight optimisation. The CFRP components for the side frame, rain channels, roof frame, cowl panel and rear window frame together form a ‘Carbon Cage’ featuring for the first time in the BMW iX body.
Vast amounts of room, a top-quality selection of materials, newly developed seating and the extraordinary expanse of the panoramic glass roof combine to immerse all five seats inside the BMW iX in a luxurious lounge-style ambience. The all-new architecture of the BMW iX cabin underpins a perfectly clear and straightforward functionality that revolves entirely around the needs and emotions of the driver and their fellow occupants. The drive concept means there is no centre tunnel, adding to the open, airy feel while also allowing extra legroom in the front and rear, sufficient space for storage facilities, and a centre console crafted to look like a high-quality piece of furniture.
An ambience of modern luxury sets the tone for both the front and rear compartments of the BMW iX interior. The minimalistic design language and clearly structured surfaces give the cabin an exceptionally spacious feel.
If the optional Loft trim is specified, the seat surfaces are adorned with a diagonal pattern of materials and colours combining high-quality textile and microfibre fabrics. The asymmetric styling and quilting composed of triangular, square and pentagonal sections give the seats their very modern appeal. Contrast stitching on the seat surfaces adds a further highly distinctive touch. The remaining equipment variants offer a choice of seat upholsteries in Sensatec and Exclusive Natural leather.
The BMW iX interior’s modern, spacious feel is further helped by the slim instrument panel. The instrument panel’s geometry rises up towards the front, turning it into the perfect stage for the futuristic, fully digital screen grouping in the iX. The BMW Curved Display, making its production vehicle debut, is held in place by a supporting structure that is concealed from the occupants’ view, so it appears to be standing freely in the cockpit.
The curving, one-piece display that serves as the central control element reinterprets the traditional driver-centric design of BMW cockpits in visionary form. This has involved bringing together the 12.3-inch Information Display and the Control Display with its screen diagonal of 14.9 inches to form a single unit angled towards the driver. The interlinked, driver-focused display ensemble optimises how information is shown and makes the display’s intuitive touch control even simpler to use. At the same time, the Control Display section can still be clearly seen and easily operated by the front passenger.
The BMW iX is the first model from the BMW Group to be fitted with a hexagonal steering wheel. Its polygonal geometry means it is ideally suited to switching between automated and active driving. The rim’s unique, trackinspired contour has the additional effect of improving ease of access and seating comfort. The hexagonal shape also affords the driver a better view of the section of the Curved Display positioned directly behind the steering wheel. The steering wheel’s six-sided outline sets the scene for focused assimilation of all driving-related information.
The BMW iX comes with 2.5-zone automatic climate control as standard, with the option of upgrading to a four-zone system that allows the temperature and ventilation settings to be controlled individually for the passengers in the rear as well as for the driver and front passenger.
LED units are used for all of the interior lighting functions in the BMW iX. All controls have white backlighting, making it easy to locate them even at night. The harmonious night design of the Curved Display adds to the laidback lounge-like feel, as does the coloured interior light, which is clearly visible in daylight too thanks to the large number of LEDs used. The interior light accentuates the expansive surfaces and crisp lines of the door panelling while also providing indirect illumination of the footwells and entrance areas.
The BMW iX is available with the option of a panoramic glass roof. Its singlepiece transparent surface spans the entire interior without any cross struts to break it up, making it the largest glass roof ever fitted in a model from the BMW Group. The panoramic glass roof greatly enhances the sense of spaciousness and the lounge-style ambience inside the BMW iX, and has the additional benefit of maximising headroom for the occupants by dispensing with the need for an interior liner. The glass roof features electrochromic shading instead, which can be activated at the press of a button to shield the interior from direct sunlight.
The audio system fitted as standard in the BMW iX comprises a HiFi sound system with twelve speakers and a 205-watt amplifier. A bespoke Harman Kardon Surround Sound System available as an option provides superb listening pleasure for all occupants with its seven-band equalizer, 655 watts of audio power and sound adjustment based on the car’s dynamic performance level. In all, 18 speakers are responsible for producing the surround sound effect, with four built-in speakers in the rear head restraints complementing the five midrange and five tweeter speakers.
Available as an option for the first time, the latest version of the Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound System takes the audio experience into a new dimension, turning the BMW iX into a concert hall on wheels. The fully active audio system boasts a seven-band equalizer, microphone-assisted sound control based on dynamic performance and five sound modes. With 30 speakers in total and an impressive amplifier output of 1,615 watts, this highly advanced system produces an exceptionally clear and wonderfully nuanced sound.