Brand-New 2022 BMW iX
About two years ago, BMW provided an initial look at the company’s roadmap to the future of mobility via the iNEXT concept. That concept (both vision and vehicle) has advanced considerably to today’s debut of the BMW iX. The iX is a fully electric sport activity vehicle built on a new modular, scalable architecture for a new generation of BMW vehicles. BMW says these new vehicles will “redefine the driving experience, the feeling of space inside and the relationship between vehicles and those on board.” No small undertaking.
BMW currently offers two “i” models — the i3 and i8. The iX takes the next step in the evolution of electrified BMWs. “The BMW Group is constantly striving to re-invent itself. That is a central element of our corporate strategy,” said Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Oliver Zipse. “The BMW iX expresses this approach in an extremely concentrated form,” Zipse concluded.
Latest eDrive Technology
The iX will employ the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology that incorporates two electric motors, a high-voltage battery and improved charging technology.
Plenty of Power
This new electric power unit is expected to generate about 500 horsepower — which should be more than adequate to move the iX to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds.
With lower overall power consumption than its predecessors, the BMW iX should have a range of about 300 miles.
New charging technology in the BMW iX allows for DC fast charging at rates up to 200kW. At this rate the range increases by about 75 miles in a mere 10 minutes. It would take about 40 minutes to move from 10 percent to 80 percent charge. BMW claims a standard 11kW level 2 charging station would charge the iX battery to full capacity in about 11 hours.
A futuristic take on the traditional kidney grille and twin headlights means the iX won’t be mistaken for anything other than a BMW. The full LED headlights are the slimmest ever used on a BMW, integrating around the large grille and flowing smoothly into the sculpted hood. The hood mimics the grille design for a 3D effect. The iX is about the same length and width as a BMW X5 and almost the same height as an X6.
In keeping with the slippery nature of the iX design, door handles fit flush with door surfaces. Doors also have frameless windows and exterior mirrors optimized for airflow and visibility. The iX charging port is located where a fuel-filler cap would be on a typical BMW — the right-rear wheel arch.
Like the LED headlights, the taillights of the iX are the slimmest LEDs ever put on a BMW. A rearview camera resides within the large BMW logo and gets automatically cleaned as needed.
The kidney grille of the 2022 BMW iX has no openings into the engine bay since the vehicle has no internal-combustion engine to cool. Instead it integrates the camera technology, radar functions and other sensors behind a transparent surface. The heating elements and cleaning system for the sensors are embedded in the grille as well.
Hood Does Not Open
Since iX owners will have nothing to check or maintain under the hood, it can only be opened by BMW service technicians. The BMW roundel logo opens as a filler cap for the windshield washer fluid — apparently the only maintenance expected of a consumer.
A polyurethane coating protects the grille from road damage. Minor scratches or dings will self-heal within 24 hours at room temperature — or via a five-minute supply of warm air.
“The BMW iX shows how we can give new technologies a very modern and emotional design. The car is technologically complex, but it feels very clear and uncomplicated,” said Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk. “The BMW iX offers a mobile living space in which people will feel at ease, where the car’s intelligence is only there when you need it,” van Hooydonk noted.
The new iX will be available with a single-piece transparent roof — the largest ever on a BMW — providing a more spacious feeling inside. The roof employs electrochromic shading — rather than employing a shade, the roof can be turned opaque with the touch of a button.
“We designed the BMW iX from the inside out,” said Vice President of BMW Design Domagoj Dukec. “In the process, we took particular care to create a modern, warm and minimalist interior design with a very spacious feel,” observed Dukec. The electric powertrain and new architecture allow for a roomy interior with plenty of space for occupants and storage.
BMW coined the phrase “Shy Tech” to represent the hidden sensors and cameras on the iX exterior as well as the high-tech features inside that create a clean design. Interior Shy Tech includes hidden speakers, intricate air vents, radiant heated surfaces and simple controls.
The 2022 BMW iX displays all driver and infotainment information on one large, curved display that seems to float away from the dashboard. The single piece of glass has a magnesium housing and an anti-reflective coating. Combining the 12.3-inch driver information display and 14.9-inh control display gives the interior a futuristic look.
Future of Cockpit Design
“The BMW iX is the first model from the BMW Group to feature the impressive high-resolution Curved Display, which is far larger and sharper than the displays in our current models,” explained Frank Weber, a BMW board member responsible for development. “As a result, the BMW iX interior points the way ahead for cockpit design in future BMW models,” Weber noted.
The only physical buttons in the cabin of the 2022 BMW iX are on the steering wheel and the center console. BMW’s familiar iDrive controller looks jewel-like, while controls surrounding it are haptic buttons integrated into a wood surface. The new gear selector is a rocker switch rather than the customary selector.
Hex Steering Wheel
Another first for a BMW, the iX has a hexagonal steering wheel featuring new multifunction buttons with control pads. The steering wheel also gets three-stage heating — another first.
Newly developed front seats for the iX have a sporty look as well as integrated head restraints. An integrated speaker is also available.
Thanks to the BMW iX’s flat floor, the rear seat offers plentiful legroom in all three seating positions. Multiple USB-C ports are available for rear-seat passengers.
Arriving in 2022
The iX is slated to go into production at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany, during the second half of 2021. First deliveries to the U.S. are expected to follow in early 2022.