The BMW iX xDrive 40 and xDrive 50 boast a twin-motor, four-wheel-drive setup that accelerates from 0-62 mph at remarkable speeds and reaches a top speed of 124 mph. What sets them apart is their environmentally conscious design, making them among the greenest mass-produced cars to date.
Here’s a comprehensive look at what we know about the BMW iX series, including pricing, specs, release dates, range, and more.
BMW iX: Release and Pricing
The BMW iX xDrive 40 arrived late in 2021, but it’s not destined for the U.S. market. American drivers must await the arrival of the xDrive 50, slated for mid-2022.
In the U.S., the xDrive 50 starts at $84,100, while the performance-oriented iX M60 has a base price of $108,900. This positions the iX advantageously compared to the Tesla Model X, with Tesla’s premium electric SUV starting at $120,990 and reaching $123,990 for the top-tier version.
BMW iX: Design and Interior
The BMW iX makes a bold statement with its distinctive exterior design, standing apart from the smoother, more curved aesthetics of many electric SUVs. While it may not suit everyone’s taste, the interior offers a contrasting experience.
In typical electric vehicle fashion, the iX features a sizable touchscreen control panel, accompanied by a panoramic sunroof with electrochromic shading. This unique sunroof allows you to instantly adjust the tint for your comfort—a feature not commonly found in vehicles.
The powered front seats are available in heated versions and offer a choice of leather, faux leather, or microfiber cloth upholstery.
BMW iX: Power and Performance
Both the iX xDrive 40 and iX xDrive 50 represent BMW’s inaugural foray into electric SUVs, and they pack impressive power. Both models come standard with all-wheel drive, featuring a single motor on each axle.
The entry-level xDrive 40 generates 296bhp (240 kW) and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just over 6 seconds. In contrast, the beefier xDrive 50 produces 493bhp (370 kW) and accomplishes the 0-62 mph sprint in under 5 seconds.
While these figures are impressive, the Tesla Model X still holds an edge, reaching 60 mph in either 3.8 or 2.5 seconds, depending on the model.
BMW iX: Range and Charging
In terms of range, the xDrive50 has a 100 kWh battery that’s good for a 373-mile trip, while the 40 has to make do with a 70 kWh cell that will conk out after 249 miles. The Model X, by comparison, can go for 340 miles, or 360 in its Long Range guise.
Both the iX cars can go from 10-80 percent of charge in a little under 40 minutes, though the xDrive 50 is faster overall in this regard: its 200 kW charging can take it to 75 miles in 10 minutes, whereas the xDrive 40 has a 150 kW charger and will add 56 miles in the same time.
Owners of iX and i4 vehicles in the U.S. will enjoy complimentary access to Electrify America’s charging network, providing two years of free 30-minute charging sessions from the purchase date.
BMW iX: Intelligence Panel and Drive
As you’d expect from a modern EV, the iX series incorporates cutting-edge technology. The distinctive kidney-shaped front grille functions as an “intelligence panel,” housing cameras, radar, and sensors essential for the vehicle’s automated driving systems. BMW says that it can process 20 times more data than its predecessors.
Inside, the iX range introduces BMW’s new iDrive operating system, complete with an onboard digital assistant.
What truly excites BMW, however, are the environmentally friendly aspects of the iX series.
BMW iX: Environmentally Conscious SUVs
The xDrive 40 and xDrive 50 exemplify BMW’s comprehensive commitment to sustainability throughout the production process. These vehicles contain no rare-earth materials, with BMW itself sourcing cobalt and lithium for their batteries to ensure compliance with environmental and sustainability standards.
The batteries are manufactured using green power, and the production process for the iX range has reduced emissions by 18%. The interior incorporates a significant amount of secondary aluminum and recycled plastic, including materials such as reclaimed fishing nets and FSC-certified wood. In total, the iX contains 132 pounds of recycled plastic.
BMW asserts that over a span of 125,000 miles, the iX xDrive40 exhibits a 45% lower global warming potential than an equivalent diesel car.
BMW iX: The Road Ahead
There’s still much to uncover about the BMW iX xDrive 40 and xDrive 50. Despite some reservations about its exterior design, BMW’s track record in the electric car industry inspires confidence in both iX models.
Furthermore, BMW’s commitment to cleaner and more sustainable production processes is commendable. The electric vehicle industry has faced scrutiny for its environmental impact during production, especially concerning lithium and rare earth metal mining.
The potential for autonomous and smart driving features remains an exciting prospect. Although true driver-free autonomous driving remains a distant goal, high-end electric cars, including BMW, have made strides with Level 2 and potentially Level 3 autonomy. BMW undoubtedly has more to unveil in this regard.