Electrifying BMW X1 Revealed

BMW has brought its electrified ‘i’ family into the sales leading luxury SUV segment with reveal of its first European BMW iX.

While still in the series development phase, the car is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable future toolkit developed by the BMW focused on “a fresh interpretation of design, sustainability, driving pleasure, versatility and luxury”. It was designed for purely electric mobility from the drawing board up and claims to feature the latest innovations in electrification, automated driving and connectivity.

Its powertrain employs the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology using two electric motors plus the power electronics, the charging technology and the high-voltage battery. BMW claims its power unit is manufactured sustainably, without the use of raw materials known as rare earths and could produce as much as 500bhp. The automaker says that will be enough to power the BMW iX from 0 to 62 mph in under 5.0 seconds.

It also claims a low combined electric power consumption figure for its segment of less than 21 kWh per 62 miles in the WLTP test cycle. A gross energy content of more than 100 kWh should enable the battery pack to record a range of more than 372 miles or more than 300 miles according to the EPA’s FTP-75 test procedure.
Its new charging technology allows DC fast charging at up to 200 kW. This means the battery claims to be charged from 10% to 80% of its full capacity in under 40 minutes. The automaker claims that within ten minutes enough energy can be fed into the battery to increase the car’s range by more than 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. BMW claims the iX’s battery pack is highly recyclable and that 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 claims to provide the platform for 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.

Frank Weber, member of the board of management of BMW Development, said: “The iX has more computing power for data processing and more powerful sensor technology than the newest vehicles in our current line-up, is 5G-capable, will be given new and improved automated driving and parking functions and uses the high-performing fifth generation of our electric drive system.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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