BMW iNEXT – large, impressive, elegant and surprising

In 2018, BMW introduced a concept car known as the iNEXT, the first swallow of the brand’s first electric SUVs. A large and impressive electric car, a little awkward in size and shape, with an advanced electric propulsion unit, an alien, surprising and surprising design on the outside, elegant, quiet, technological on the inside, and saturated with innovation, in every corner or switch.

The incarnation of this concept car is the important and constitutive iX model, the brand’s flagship, and inspiration for other models that have already been “born” and more “will be born”. This is a model that marks the beginning of the end of the company’s petrol models (and diesel, long ago), and a move to a fully electrified future.

Since there is no major carmaker that does not invest most of its capital in the development and production of electric models or green vehicles with alternative propulsions, the battle now is over the question of who will occupy the electric vehicle sector, and of course we see big manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes and the giant concern Volkswagen.

The Ix has a unique design with a pair of large kidneys at the front. Behind these “nostrils”, which here in Israel are covered by the license plate, is embedded technology for improving driving assistance systems: a large radar, sensors and a camera. MV, just futuristic.

BMW iX model (Photo: Courtesy of the manufacturer)

The LED headlights are slanted in the front, and the back is thin and long. The handles in the car are internal, such that you have to put your fingers into the contents and press the internal switch. The side mirrors were sculpted in a wind tunnel, and there are few character lines on the doors.

The cab is clean – a space that has almost no noise and switches, and despite that, there is a lot to deal with. The cockpit and passenger compartment are spacious and minimalist but saturated with innovations and features that I first encountered, which meant that the first time I got in the car I was pretty lost.

The driver’s door does not have an opening handle, which means that there is a hidden one, designed in case of need or in case of emergency, because the door here will be opened with the help of beautiful golden switches. The switches for moving the driver’s and passenger seats are in a different league – covered with crystal. They are special and in an encounter with the sun’s rays an endearing look is created.
And there is another crystal. A pulley is placed in the console, between the driver and the passenger, made of veneer wood. This is the iX’s rotary iDrive controller.

The scroll is handsome and shiny, made of crystal, and controls the operation of the various systems in multimedia. Birth Flat buttons are sensitive to contact with a sensor hidden under the veneer surface, which controls driving modes, a button to activate the peripheral cameras, a button to raise the vehicle with the help of air suspension and more buttons to operate the audio system and receive power and electric charge data.

The volume knob is also made of crystal, as is the ignition switch, and the gear selector. This definitely contributes to the look of the doors and cabin, because the rest, except for the screens, look pretty ordinary. The multimedia system includes a prestigious and high-quality audio system from Bowers & WiIkins.

BMW iX model (Photo: Courtesy of the manufacturer)BMW iX model (Photo: Courtesy of the manufacturer)

As mentioned, we will see more power models with the design features of the iX below – the digital dashboard, the multimedia screen, the hexagonal steering wheel and the use of durable materials, as part of the manufacturer’s agenda. On the other hand, the seat belts in a light blue color will not be copied, to my delight, to other models. Because with all due respect to the fact that it is a cool and refreshing color, when it comes to a car worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, it is very ornate in its appearance.

The iX has a flat floor and a high roofline, allowing three older and larger passengers to sit in the back. The two outer seats have integral headrests while the center seat includes a foldable headrest. The legroom at the front and rear is very generous, and the trunk is wide (volume of 500 liters).

The iX is produced in two versions, both with a dual propulsion unit that includes two electric motors, one in the front axle and one in the rear axle. The model tested, the iX xDrive50, comes with a very high power of 523 hp, a maximum torque of 78 kg, with enjoyable acceleration from the spot, that there is a feeling that it is faster than the official figure – 4.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h. And it should be remembered that this is a huge vehicle weighing more than 2.5 tons, of which 600 kg of battery is hidden in the floor of the vehicle. The battery capacity is 111.5 kWh (105.2 kWh net, according to the technical specifications) and the manufacturer’s declared electric travel range is about 600 kilometers, with the real range closer to 480 kilometers.

Of course the electric range is affected by the nature of the ride, the route of the road and the driving. When I returned the vehicle to the dealership, I drove 11 kilometers, which lasted 25 minutes, ranging from crawling to traveling at 90 km / h, and I did not lose a single percent of the battery. How? Thanks to the regenerative system in the vehicle, In BMW.

But the energy recovery system in the iX, as in the new Ix3 launched in 2021 (the electric version of the X3), is indeed excellent, and you can see how the energy returns to the battery from the trip itself. It is possible to maintain the electric range with the help of economical driving mode, and choose a “high” regenerative mode, where the vehicle brakes in each cut-off contact with the accelerator pedal, without depressing the brakes, and the braking itself produces additional energy for the battery.

I did not drive fast on the road test because I had no where, but the maximum speed in both iX models is limited to 200 km / h, no matter how much you push.
The driving experience on the iX xDrive50 is enjoyable, and the ride is quiet thanks to the isolation from road and wind noise. I did not expect at least such a vehicle, at such a price. The sitting position is high. In sporty driving and fast and sharp maneuvers, its weight is noticeable and is a reminder that the car is not meant for it.

The iX model is marketed in Israel in four versions: two propulsion / battery units and two trim levels each. The xDrive40 model with an electric driving range of 400 kilometers, 326 hp starting at NIS 559,000, and the xDrive50 model with Ultimate and Ultimate Bronze finish levels, with a power of 524 hp, starting at NIS 699,000. 

News and events

Union Motors, an importer of Toyota in Israel, opens up to the general public the possibility of pre-ordering the Toyota Igo X, a new urban mini-crossover, with a young design (pictured below). The Igo X has a 1-liter (1,000 cc) engine, with three cylinders and 72 hp, with low fuel consumption according to the manufacturer’s statement. Its dimensions have grown in length, width and height, it has large alloy wheels – 17 inches, which add interest to the exterior appearance, and have not spared its safety: Igo X includes original autonomous safety systems, such as adaptive cruise control and a child prevention system. Starting from NIS 93,990.

Toyota Aigo X (Photo: PR)Toyota Aigo X (Photo: PR)
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Manufacturer MG has announced that following the outbreak of a new variant in China, production at automotive plants in China will be hampered. The delay will mainly affect the MG ZS EV model, which has not yet begun serial production. The start of serial production will be postponed, most likely to the third quarter of 2022. Private customers who have ordered MG ZS EV in the country whose delivery will be delayed and decide not to wait, will be able to cancel their order and receive a full credit. If they decide to purchase another model from the importer’s brands (MG, Peugeot, Citroen, Opel or DS), they will receive an increased credit in the amount of the down payment they paid at the time of ordering, plus a 50% campaign to purchase a car from Lubinski brands.

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