Premium Surprisingly, BMW’s new electric car concept is not on a new electric car platform. We take a turn in the upcoming 523-horsepower BMW iX xDrive50!
WHAT IS NEW? The BMW iX is brand new. Exteriorly, the boldly designed car is reminiscent of a BMW X5, but it feels a size larger.
You get the same impression when you take a seat in the spacious cabin. Although the iX is not as tall as an X7, it otherwise offers approximately the same size of the passenger compartment – but in a more stylish package.
The suve is designed as a designer penthouse. The dashboard is strongly angled backwards without the otherwise typical console between driver and passenger. The center console is instead floating, which contributes to an airy and luxurious feeling.
Already in this pre-series car, the quality impression is great. Olive tanned leather and fabrics of the highest quality as far as the eye can see. Of course, the sides of futurism have taken over and the iX has been “gifted” with a steering wheel that is not round at all and which is also equipped with touch-sensitive surfaces.
The driver looks at a giant and two-part curved screen and a head-up display. The iDrive crystal knob now relies on veined wood decor with touch-sensitive and illuminated surfaces. The buttons are few and the idea is to control the car’s infotainment system, of the eighth generation, much more with the voice than before.
The navigation system quickly calculates the desired route and shows the way using the augmented reality function. Charging stops are of course also shown and the iX can be charged with up to 200 kW direct current, provided that the electronics have heated up the car’s large 106 kWh battery.
The range is of course calculated depending on how you drive and if you are sporty, it means 300 km according to the display. If, on the other hand, you drive like a certifier, the trip computer shows 630 km – according to the WLTP cycle.
HOW IS IT TO DRIVE? The maximum range decreases rapidly when you touch the right pedal and you are happy to do so because the 2.5 ton heavy SUV can stand still at 100 km / h in 4.6 seconds thanks to 523 hp and 765 Nm from two synchronous electric motors. It also feels as if the acceleration party continues when the car sprints past the 100 km / h line to the electronically limited top speed of 200 km / h.
We reduce the speed and transfers part of the driving responsibility to the assistance corps. It is extremely impressive how safely the iX xDrive50 moves inside the road markings with the help of a variety of cameras. Laser and radar sensors recognize other vehicles and display them on the screen.
As we approach a much slower truck, it suddenly changes lanes right in front of us. But no danger: the Level-2 pilot works so convincingly that one wonders why the iX can not drive according to Level-3.
Johann Kistler, project manager for iX and also today’s driver, explains: “We are refining the latest for Level-3 driving. Unfortunately, the law only allows autonomous driving at traffic jams and up to 60 km / h.”
But even now, the air-sprung SUV is a masterpiece when it comes to driving comfort. Admittedly, the iX xDrive50 has aerodynamically optimized 22-inch wheels that would not normally caress the asphalt under us, but the tires are insulated with foam material for better rolling comfort. You can only hear a slight wind noise even though it is storming brisk outside. Maybe not so strange with a cWvalue of 0.25.
Before the storm blows us off the highway, we turn off towards a country road. Johann Kistler activates the car’s sport mode, which sharpens the dampers without worrying the rest of the car. The heavy SUV gets through the curves surprisingly fast thanks to the low center of gravity of the 600 kg heavy battery.
In the long downhill on the way back, the car is braked via regeneration. In the B position, it is so strong that the brake pedal is not needed and the cars will not be equipped with steering wheel paddles to control the braking effect. “The iX should be an easy-to-drive electric car,” explains Kistler.
NERD FACTS. The price tag is large. For the weaker variant xDrive40 with 326 hp, BMW wants at least SEK 906,700, for xDrive50 with 523 hp, the price starts at SEK 1,106,700. The car is produced similar to the 7- and 8-series in Dingolfing and will not be available to dealers until November.
SHOULD I BUY ONE? This pre-series car really feels like a fully developed and proven model. A powerful driveline with over 500 electric horses, lots of space, wonderful suspension comfort and a range that makes it suitable as a first and only car. The price is as expected high, but what do you usually say? You get what you pay for.
Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.
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