BMW iX electric SUV detailed – 320 PS xDrive40 with 400 km range, 500 PS xDrive50 with 600 km range – paultan.org

Back in November, BMW made a bold statement of intent of its future by revealing the iX electric SUV. Not a lot of technical information was divulged back then, but Munich has now teased a few specs about the two variants that will be offered from its late-2021 launch.

There aren’t any concrete details, but the ballpark figures for the base xDrive40 (that’s right, no i or e suffix here) include a power output of around 240 kW (320 PS) and a range of more than 400 km on the WLTP cycle. Step up to the xDrive50 and you’ll get the headline numbers that were announced last year – over 370 kW (500 PS) and an impressive WLTP-rated range of over 600 km.

As their names suggest, both models are all-wheel drive with an electric motor fitted to each axle, although we do expect more affordable single-motor variants further down the line. The xDrive40 gets from zero to 100 km/h in just over six seconds, while the xDrive50 completes the same sprint in under five seconds. Both have an electronically-limited top speed of 200 km/h.

The fifth-generation electric powertrains provide a 30% increase in power density and have an efficiency factor of 93%, which BMW says is higher than its competitors. The iX uses brushless DC motors instead of permanent magnet synchronous motors, eliminating rare earths for magnetic components from their production. The company also promises a broader torque band compared to other electric vehicles.

Power consumption is rated at around 20 kWh per 100 km for the xDrive40 and 21 kWh per 100 km for the xDrive50. Each variant has a different battery capacity – over 70 kWh for the xDrive40 and over 100 kWh for the xDrive50. The liquid-cooled lithium-ion units have a 20% greater energy density compared to the previous generation and are covered by an eight-year/160,000 km warranty.

You can charge the iX using either a conventional three-pin socket (although it would probably take forever) or an 11 kW AC wallbox. Using the latter, the xDrive50 is charged in under 11 hours, while the xDrive40 is topped up in less than eight hours.

There’s also the option of DC fast charging, with the xDrive40 capped at a maximum of 150 kW and taking ten minutes to add 90 km of range. Buyers of the xDrive50 get the full 200 kW, providing an additional 120 km of range in the same time. Both models charge from ten to 80% in 40 minutes using this method.

Munich is also making big claims about the iX’s sustainable manufacturing methods. The company has made ethical sourcing of materials a key part of the car’s development process, as well as the use of recycled materials and renewable energy.

The production of electric vehicle batteries has been a source of concern for environmentalists with respect to the materials used. As such, BMW has reduced the amount of cobalt used in the cathode to less than ten per cent and has stopped sourcing it from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has a history of human rights violations when it comes to cobalt mining. To increase transparency, the company also sources its lithium directly from Australia in accordance with its environmental and sustainability standards.

As for the rest of the car, up to 50% of the iX’s aluminium and up to 60 kg of its plastic is recycled, while chrome has largely been eliminated from the interior (save for the BMW badging). The Clear & Bold specification also adds sustainably-grown wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Elsewhere, you’ll find natural wool upholstery, leather treated using an olive leaf extract and synthetic yarn carpeting made from nylon fishing nets.

In Germany, the iX will be priced starting at €77,300 (RM378,800) for the xDrive40 and €98,000 (RM480,300) for the xDrive50; the company says that the starting price is equivalent to a comparable petrol-powered X5. Interested? You can already register your interest on the BMW Malaysia website, hinting that the iX will be launched sooner rather than later. The company has a habit of launching cars well before deliveries start (as was the case with the new M3 and M4 and the 4 Series), so this could very well be the case for the iX.

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