The next generation of BMW electric driving has arrived with the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 luxury SUV. Cutting-edge performance, advanced technology, luxury, and the comfort of a mid-sized SAV are seamlessly combined in BMW’s new electric trailblazer.
The xDrive50 is one of many key steps in the automobile manufacturer’s mission for creating sustainable mobility. The company has announced that it intends to avoid the emission of over 200 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. This is equivalent to more than 20 times the annual CO2 emissions of a city with over a million inhabitants, like Munich. To achieve this, the BMW Group is reducing its vehicles’ carbon footprints throughout their lifecycle – meaning from raw material extraction, through production and use phase, to the end-of-life recycling.
The important facts about this pure electric SUV are these:
• Starting MSRP is $83,200
• The xDrive50 is eligible for a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
• Maximum horsepower is 516hp
• The EV reaches 60mph in 4.4 seconds
• The 111.5kWh Lithium Ion battery provides a 300-mile range
• The battery is replenished up to 90% in 10 minutes
• Dual electric motors provide excellent All Wheel Drive
• Cargo space is cavernous: 35.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up, 77.9 cubic feet with seats down
• Passenger space is luxurious and expansive
BMW claims that a more powerful iX M60 model—developed by the automaker’s BMW M GmbH, its affiliate “skunkworks” – will debut in the future with more than 600 hp.
The iX’s extensive range and expensive price tag place it somewhere between the Tesla Model X and Audi e-Tron. It will also be competing with the Mercedes EQC and Rivan R1S, when they arrive in the US marketplace.
The pure electric’s battery pack has been designed for extreme temperatures, which has become a new standard for EVs. Three cooling circuits, a heat pump, a water-cooled condenser, plus a system that can collects excess heat from drive units to keep the battery warm in cold climates are part of the iX’s modular battery pack. The car uses BMW’s 5th generation electric drive system, which comes with a 30% additional boost over previous generations.
The iX creates a drag coefficient of just 0.25 Cd. With its battery module positioned for a low center of gravity, the EV’s strong aerodynamic vitality provides exceptional handling. This is quite an engineering feat for a car which can be called a super-sized SUV, weighing in at 5,659 pounds.
A front end double-wishbone, a rear five-link suspension and the use of elastic bearings at the front and rear motors work to isolate passengers from motor vibrations and road harshness.
BMW has taken a mixed approach for the EV’s body shell using materials that include an aluminum spaceframe body, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (borrowing from materials used to create the i3), plus some steel and aluminum pieces. Built at BMW’s Dingolfing plant using 100% renewable energy, the 2022 BMW iX uses game-changing sustainable materials, including olive-leaf tanned leathers, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood, and floor mats made from ECONYL (regenerated nylon made from ocean waste).
Concerning BMW’s eco-mindedness, Bengt Halvorson of greencarreports.com writes that “BMW wears sustainability on its sleeve. The iX has wound motors that aren’t dependent on rare-earth materials, and the proportion of cobalt in the battery cells’ cathode material was cut to less than 10%. The cobalt and lithium for those cells is procured directly by the company. Lithium comes from Australia, it says, and while the cobalt doesn’t come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a pilot program there might provide future socially sustainable mining.”
“For both vehicle manufacturing and battery-making, BMW is using electricity from renewables both for the vehicles and battery casings, and asking battery cell makers to use electricity from renewable sources. It’s also procuring the aluminum casings for its motors from a facility in the United Arab Emirates that supplements its production with solar. And BMW says that each iX includes about 132 pounds of recycled plastic.”
Says Kelley Blue Book reviewer Colin Ryan: “Indeed, for well-off drivers with social consciences and a desire to create a decent future for our children, the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 — which uses recycled aluminum in its body and recycled polyester in its interior — certainly looks like an enlightened choice.”
The EV’s exterior represents the adoption of a new futuristic style. Its kidney grille is “intelligent,” doubling as sensor panel with exterior ShyTech features including advanced sensors, cameras and radar technology. 22” aerodynamic wheel designs, integrated flush door handles (like the Tesla S) and frameless windows are part of BMW’s new Electric Era thinking. The car’s slim rear taillights, drag-reducing rear diffuser, and rear-view camera integrated into the BMW roundel provide a dynamic rear design. Electronically controlled air flaps on its front adjust to use cooling air intake as required.
Consider the xDrive50’s interior a whole new vision of form and function. A 14.9”-wide Curved Display extends halfway across the dashboard and appears to be floating. Dash buttons and controls have been designed to be minimalist. Seats are comfortable, clad in your choice of luxurious upholstery which include sustainable materials like quilted olive-leaf tanned leather, microfiber and wool blend, and SensaTec. Liquid crystals embedded in the standard Panoramic Moonroof scatter to create an instantaneous shading effect at the push of a button. Rear seating is lounge-like.
The iX xDrive50 will be one of BMW’s debut vehicles to use an 8th generation iDrive System, which features dual screens and cloud-based navigation. Friendly routes are constantly calculated, providing live traffic info. An interior camera with low-light capability functions as part of a new Remote Theft Recorder, which drivers can program as they wish.
Safety and security features include:
• Rear-view Camera
• Acoustic pedestrian protection
• Park Distance Control, front and rear
• Automatic high beams
• Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows, and activating post-crash braking; includes Fatigue and Focus Alert feature
• Active Driving Assistant includes Frontal Collision Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and Speed Limit Info
• BMW Assist eCall includes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification
• Programmable LED Daytime Running Lights
• Safe Exit - detects approaching vehicles and cyclists to warn driver and passengers about a collision risk when opening the doors. Visual warning via ambient lights and mirror LEDs
• Redundant mechanical interior door levers
* Redundant rear tail lamps inside trunk lid
Bengt Halvorson of greencarreports.com: “The iX can handle up to two 5G SIM cards, offering a faster, low-latency connection for some features, as well as hot-spot capability for up to 10 devices and HD-quality video streaming. It also offers BMW Digital Key Plus, which harnesses ultra-wideband tech in the iPhone’s U1 chip to effectively take the place of a key.”
Drew Dorian from caranddriver.com: “Based on the Vision iNext concept that BMW showed back in fall 2018, the production 2022 iX is the brand's first all-electric compact SUV—and it's mighty compelling.”
WRITTEN NOVEMBER 2021
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