When in 2007 BMW launched a sub-brand dedicated to electric cars, the “plan i” (synthesis of innovation) from which the compact i3 was born in 2013, it seemed like a risky order. “Instead we were pioneers – underlines the president and CEO of the Italian branch, Massimiliano Di Silvestre – and so today we are the best at interpreting the new mobility in a totally sustainable way. We can make a difference not only in the product, but in the entire chain of production thanks to a holistic project in which we have invested 30 billion euros until 2025 “.
The world has changed and BMW has also changed a lot, increasingly oriented towards electrification. On 2 July the production of the iX, the group’s advanced technological flag, started in the German mega-factory of Dingolfing, which also assembles the 5, 7 and 8 Series, waiting for the first i4 electric sedan that will arrive by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, here is the first SUV (but in BMW they prefer the word Sav, Sport activity vehicle) “born electric” on a specific platform. Pending its debut on the market in November, the new iX was presented in Milan in a non-trivial location: the Adi Museum which houses all the works of art awarded with the “Compasso d’oro”. The steps towards the market are intended to explain to potential customers how innovative this car is and zero emissions, which has the dimensions of an X5 (4.95 meters long, 1.96 wide and 1.69 high) but it interprets the theme of sustainability in an absolute way: even in the details, such as the mats made from fishing nets recovered from the ocean and recycled.
The range includes two versions, both with all-wheel drive thanks to the two electric motors on the two axles. The xDrive 40, which costs 84 thousand euros, develops 326 HP with 630 Nm of torque and offers 425 km of autonomy (the battery pack is 71 kWh), taking 6.1 seconds to reach 100 per hour.
The xDrive 50, which costs 103 thousand euros, has 523 hp and 750 Nm to accelerate from 0 to 100 in 4.6 seconds. The battery in this case is 105.2 kW and guarantees a maximum range of 630 km with the ability to store up to 200 kW in direct current and to recover from 10 to 80% of the charge in 35 minutes. For the xDrive 40, 31 are needed for 150 kW. And for both, in 10 minutes, 150 and 95 km of autonomy respectively can be recovered from a quick recharging column.
The exterior design also boldly interprets the BMW stylistic features, especially in the front which highlights the large vertical grille behind which the electronic driving assistance sensors are concealed. The iX comes with 5 cameras, 5 radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors. The current level 2 of the autonomous drive can rise to level 3 (when the regulations allow it) even with a remote update. The software adopted has a calculation capacity 20 times higher than previous systems. The brand new My Mode button allows you to manage about ten vehicle settings from the central display, including many dynamic functions.
The lines are elegant and clean, the horizontal LED lights are thin, the handles integrated into the sides.
The interiors are spectacular and comfortable, dominated by two curved displays, one with digital dashboard functions (12.3 “), the other flanked by 14.9” which houses the evolution of the iDrive multimedia system. It is activated with voice commands, a simple touch or via the wheel on the central tunnel. The 5G connection allows all types of applications, the head-up display projects all travel information onto the windscreen. The buttons throughout the cabin are almost invisible and reduced to a minimum: half of those found in a traditional car. Careful upholstery, in eco-leather and hi-tech materials, with comfortable seats that include two USB sockets for charging the smartphone. The trunk, of 500 liters, has a “well” for the charging cables.
All components, including battery cells, are produced in Dingolfing using 100% green energy. The iX is for BMW the “new and most advanced frontier of ecological luxury”. And customers will also be pampered with a home service for each phase of assistance and maintenance.