There's a lot to like about BMW's electric iX -- if you ignore the grille, anyway.
We've been waiting on the specs and details of BMW's iX electric SUVfor a while now, and while we didn't necessarily love the early concept versions, what we've seen it mature into is infinitely more interesting. Making its debut Tuesday, the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 packs a serious drivetrain and a great-looking interior.
The iX xDrive50 boasts a 111.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack -- of which only 106.9 kWh is usable -- that BMW says will provide approximately 300 miles of range. This is a preliminary figure, but BMW is basing that number on the more pessimistic EPA cycle rather than the European WLTP cycle. It's not world-beating, but it's certainly more than enough range for most people in most situations.
The dual-motor setup produces 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. That's impressive, especially considering that BMW is already planning an M Sport model with well over 600 hp. BMW estimates a 0-to-62-mph acceleration time of about 4.6 seconds, which isn't exactly Tesla-quick, but it's plenty respectable.
Because the iX uses BMW's latest-generation EV architecture, it can DC fast-charge at 200 kilowatts, which should net you an 80% charge in under 40 minutes. BMW partnered with the EVGo charging network, making these chargers available to drivers via a mobile app. EVgo has more than 800 stations in 32 states, with the bulk being concentrated on the East Coast and in California, and iX buyers get a $100 credit toward future charging.
Apart from the electric drivetrain, BMW is taking an interesting direction with the construction of the iX's body. Like the current 7 Series and the company's previous electric models, the iX uses a ton of carbon fiber and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in its body. This helps keep weight down (and down low in the vehicle) while keeping rigidity and crashworthiness high.
The exterior of the iX looks a bit like other BMW SUVs -- with the exception of that new schnoz, which has elicited extremely mixed opinions both from media and the public. Still, ignoring how the iX looks, that body shape is doing something right because BMW says it's got a drag coefficient of just 0.25, which is superslippery for something shaped like an SUV.
At heart, the iX is a luxury vehicle, so BMW is placing a premium on ride comfort. This is accomplished either by an optional air suspension or by the standard lift-related damping system, which uses multiadjustable hydraulic dampers like those on the new i4. BMW is also keen on keeping the iX sporty, so its Servotronic variable steering system makes an appearance here, as well. Also neat is BMW's use of specially designed noise-reducing tires. These feature a layer of foam that lines the tire's inner surface and dampens vibrations and resonance while rolling.
The iX's interior benefits from not only a heaping helping of handsome design, but also the latest and greatest tech that the folks from Munich have to offer. The crown jewel is the inclusion of BMW's eighth-generation iDrive system as well as a big, curved screen. Notably, iDrive 8 uses 5G connectivity to speed everything up.
Other interior features include a hexagonal steering wheel -- kinda weird, yeah, but less weird than the Tesla yoke -- as well as an electrochromic panoramic glass roof, a Bowers & Wilkins stereo system and lots of nonleather interior options, including a combination of microfiber and wool.
The iX's safety tech is decent, even if the best features are part of an optional Driving Assistant Professional package. Standard equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, active evasion (this helps move the vehicle into a clear lane as soon as it detects a sudden evasive maneuver by the driver) and lane-departure warning, among others. That optional Driving Assistant Professional package adds adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and active lane keep-assist -- neither of which should be optional on an expensive luxury SUV, in our opinion.
BMW will charge $84,195 for the 2022 iX xDrive50, including a $995 destination fee and excluding any federal or local rebates. We expect that, with options, you'll be nearing the six-figure mark. BMW expects the iX to hit US dealers in the first quarter of 2022.