New BMW iX electric SUV: prices, specs and range-topping M60 model
Three versions of the iX are now available, with a new top-of-the-range M60 version capable of 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and up to 357 miles on a charge
This is the new BMW iX M60: a high-performance version of the German brand’s flagship electric SUV that has the Tesla Model X Plaid squarely in its crosshairs. The new range-topping model will arrive in summer 2022, with prices starting from £111,905.
The latest electric M BMW’s dual-motor four-wheel-drive setup produces 611bhp and 1,100Nm of torque; enough to propel the iX M60 from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. It also has a range of up to 357 miles, which is likely thanks to the same 105.2kWh battery used in the xDrive50 version, although BMW hasn’t disclosed the new variant’s battery size at the time of writing.
This new performance-focused iX also gets M-specific settings for the car’s air suspension, aimed at sharpening up the handling, as well as 22-inch alloy wheels, Titanium Bronze detailing on the kidney grilles and M badges and other design changes that distinguish it from other models in the iX line-up.
The first two versions of the BMW iX arrived in November 2021, with both the xDrive40 and xDrive50 available in Sport and M Sport trims. The entry-level xDrive40 Sport with its 257-mile range is priced from £69,905, rising to £91,905 for the xDrive50 Sport, which gets a maximum range of 380 miles. Upgrading to M Sport costs an additional £3,000; this adds sportier styling thanks to an aerodynamics pack, which includes new front bumper and side skirts and M Sport brakes.
While it features more distinctive styling, the iX is a similar size and shape to the BMW X5. Rivals include other luxury electric SUVs like the Audi e-tron S, Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes EQC and Tesla Model X, as well as forthcoming models like Polestar 3 and Mercedes EQE SUV.
BMW iX range, charging and performance
The iX is powered by the fifth generation of BMW's 'eDrive' electric powertrain, which in the iX includes two electric motors that produce 322bhp and 630Nm of torque in the xDrive40, making it capable of 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. The more expensive xDrive50 gets 516bhp and 765Nm of torque from its powertrain, for a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds. The xDrive50 also has a larger 105.2kWh battery, so can do up to 380 miles on a charge.
The top-of-the-range iX M60 produces 611bhp and 1,100Nm of torque from the same dual-motor setup. Thanks to that power and four-wheel-drive, the second electric M model can accelerate from 0-62mph in under four seconds, much like the new Tesla Model X Plaid it directly rivals. While it hasn’t been officially disclosed, the iX M60’s 357-mile range suggests it uses the same 105.2kWh battery as the xDrive50 model.
When it comes to charging, you can replenish the battery at up to 200kW in the iX xDrive50, if you can find a fast enough charger ‘in the wild’. That would allow for a top-up from 10% to 80% in less than 40 minutes, while charging fully from an 11kW home wallbox will take under 11 hours. We expect the same figures will apply to the iX M60 when it arrives in Summer 2022.
Meanwhile, the entry-level xDrive40 comes with a 71kWh battery, which BMW claims is capable of returning 257 miles on a charge. The xDrive40 is only capable of charging at up to 150kW, which means you can still take advantage of the growing number of ultra-rapid chargers in the UK. At that speed, it also takes less than 40 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%, due to the xDrive40 having a smaller battery.
Aerodynamic touches include the overall streamlined body shape, flush doorhandles and slender door mirrors, as well as adjustable flaps built into the grille and other front surfaces of the car. These stay closed most of the time but can open when extra cooling air is required.
BMW reckons up to 40 miles of the iX's range can be attributed to those measures, while further benefits come from an optional sport package that adds 'Air Curtains' up front to direct air over the wheels without turbulence and 'Air Blade' at the rear to minimise the vacuum effect behind the car, adding another nine miles of range. The standard 21-inch alloys can also be upgraded to other designs or 22-inch 'Air Performance' drag-reducing wheels, promising another nine miles of added range.
Elsewhere, a variety of materials have been used in constructing the iX's body in order to keep weight as low as possible, including high-strength steel, aluminium, thermoplastics and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic.
Interior and technology
According to BMW, the iX has been designed "from the inside out" with prime consideration given to the passenger environment. As there's no large engine block to fit in up front, the windscreen pillars are further forward on the iX than they would be on an equivalent combustion-engined car. This pays dividends when it comes to interior space.
A large panoramic glass roof and no central tunnel to intrude on legroom are said to contribute to a spacious and airy feeling inside the iX, while on-board technology has been designed to be unobtrusive and user-friendly – something BMW calls a 'shy tech' approach. The iX also features a hexagonal steering wheel – a first for BMW – and a head-up display.
The centrepiece of the iX's interior is a slim instrument panel, incorporating a 14.9-inch curved display screen and 12.3-inch digital driver’s display – the first time such technology has been offered in a production BMW. The screen appears freestanding from the occupants' point of view and is made from anti-reflective glass, so does not need to be shielded from sunlight.
Voice control and touchscreen functionality can be used to operate most functions, but drivers can also use the familiar BMW iDrive control wheel to navigate menus and select options if they prefer. The wheel is integrated into a centre console that features a control surface divided up by 'feeler bars' instead of conventional separate buttons.
The space gained from the lack of a central tunnel is also used to create additional storage in the centre console; the lower level houses a pair of cupholders, a smartphone tray with inductive charging, a 12V power connection and two USB ports. The centre console armrest opens to reveal an illuminated storage compartment.
The sports front seats can be specified with integrated speakers, while in the rear BMW is promising a "lounge-style ambience," with a bench seat designed for three occupants, and the two outer seats getting integrated head restraints. Coat hooks, tablet computer mounts and USB charging ports are all fitted for rear-seat occupants to use, while the rear seats split and fold in a 40:20:40 ratio for extended cargo space.
A number of interior upholstery options are available, including a textile-and-microfibre blend, Sensatec synthetic leather and natural leather. Wood and recycled plastics are also used around the interior, including on the door panels, seats, centre console and floor lining.
As standard, the iX gets a 18-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo. A further possible upgrade is a Bowers & Wilkins concert-hall setup with 30 speakers (including eight built into headrests) and '4D Audio' capability.
Price, equipment and on-sale date
The entry-level xDrive40 Sport starts from £69,905, and as previously mentioned, gets a 322bhp dual-motor setup, 71kWh battery and 257-mile range. Standard kit includes 21-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, a 14.9-inch infotainment screen and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, as well as BMW safety systems like parking assistant and driving assistant professional.
The xDrive50 Sport adds integral active steering and air suspension, plus 200kW charging capability, a power increase to 516bhp, the larger 105.2kWh battery and range of up to 381 miles. The xDrive50 Sport is priced from £93,905 – £24,000 more than the basic model.
Upgrading to M Sport trim costs an additional £3,000, so prices start from £72,905 and £96,905 respectively for the iX xDrive40 and xDrive50 in M Sport trim. These models get sportier styling, which includes a new front bumper and side skirts, 21-inch Aero wheels and M Sport brakes, plus exclusive interior trim options and blue seatbelts.
There are plenty of optional extras offered as well, most of which come as part of packs. The list includes a 'skylounge' pack, which adds a panoramic sunroof and sun-protection glass; while the 'comfort plus' pack includes soft-close doors plus heated and ventilated seats; the 'technology plus' pack adds parking assistant, interior camera and a Bowers & Wilkins stereo.
The top-of-the-range BMW iX M60 gets a mammoth power output of 611bhp and 1,100Nm of torque, plus a 357-mile range, M air suspension, 22-inch alloys and design changes to distinguish it from the other variants.
Inside, the iX M60 also receives more equipment as standard, such as soft-close doors, laser headlights, BMW’s Parking Assistant Plus package and an interior camera. The interior is trimmed in natural leather, while there are also heated, ventilated and massaging seats, BMW’s Heat Comfort package and the previously mentioned Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system.
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