New BMW iX due in 2021 with 376-mile range

BMW iX will go on sale next year with a 500bhp twin-motor electric powertrain and an array of new tech

  • New flagship iX electric SUV will arrive in 2021
  • Twin-motor powertrain will produce over 500bhp
  • All-electric SUV expected to have a range of 376 miles

The new electric BMW iX SUV has been revealed. Originally dubbed the ‘iNEXT,’ the new model will use BMW’s latest eDrive electric powertrain, with a power output of around 500bhp and an estimated range of around 376 miles under the WLTP test cycle.

The iX is slated to enter production in the second half of 2021 and will compete for sales against rival electric models such as the Mercedes EQC, Audi e-tron and Tesla Model X.

2021 BMW iX SUV: design and dimensions

At the front, the iX features a pair of oversized vertical kidney grilles similar to those seen on the Concept i4 and the new BMW 4 Series coupe. These are completely blanked out with a transparent panel, which houses cameras, radar and other sensors.

A pair of narrow headlights also feature and are the slimmest ever fitted to a production BMW. The bonnet-mounted BMW badge conceals the filler for the windscreen washer fluid reservoir.

The side of the car features flush fitting door handles and frameless doors with a flowing roofline that tapers slightly towards the rear of the car. The rearmost C-pillar gets a cutaway panel with an ‘iX’ logo. A set of five-spoke aero-efficient alloy wheels help the car cut through the air cleanly.

At the back, there is a full-width tailgate with a spoiler that helps minimise the disruption of airflow, and a pair of slim lights. The boot-mounted BMW badge contains an integrated rear-view camera.

While BMW has not revealed the full dimensions of the iX, they have confirmed the new car is similar in length and width to an X5 SUV but with a lower roofline similar to the X6 coupe-SUV.

Interior and technology

The iX’s dashboard features a clean minimal design with intricate looking air vents, integrated speakers, a hexagonal steering wheel and a rocker switch gear selector.

The dominant feature is the vast curved display screen. It merges a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which now incorporates a head-up display projector and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen to form a single unit, which runs the next-generation BMW operating system.

BMW has always aimed to make its cars as driver-centric as possible, which is why the touchscreen will be curved. However, it’s positioned so that the front passenger can also use the screen, and some apps and features can be shifted across so they’re closer to the driver or passenger. The screen is designed to look like it’s floating, which is said to make it seem lighter and more spacious inside the car, and the glass is non-reflective so you’ll still be able to see it in direct sunlight.

The iX also features a new seat design with integrated headrests and a panoramic glass roof. Thanks to the car’s electric powertrain, there is no drivetrain tunnel in the floor, which allows extra legroom for both front and rear passengers and additional storage space in the centre console.

BMW says that the iX is capable of processing up to 20 times more data than previous models thanks to its new technology. It will feature automated self-driving and parking technology as part of its repertoire. It will also be the first premium BMW model with 5G mobile internet connectivity.

Powertrain, range and performance

The iX is powered by the fifth generation version of BMW’s eDrive technology, with a pair of electric motors (one on each axle) producing a total power output of “more than” 500bhp. Final performance figures are yet to be revealed but BMW states the iX will manage 0-62mph in under five seconds.

It’ll get a 100kWh battery that’s capable of a range of over 376 miles under the WLTP test cycle, with DC fast charging at up to 200kW. When connected to a rapid charger, topping up the battery from 10 to 80% will take under 40 minutes, with 75 miles of range added in around 10 minutes. A full charge via a 11kW home wallbox takes just under 11 hours.

If you can’t wait until 2021 for an electrified BMW, read our reviews of the i3 electric car, or the 225xe and 530e iPerformance hybrids. Alternatively, explore our rundown of the best electric cars to buy in 2020.

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