At its (digital) NextGen 2020 occasion, BMW in the present day introduced that the BMW iX, its new all-electric flagship beforehand often called the iNext, will launch on the finish of 2021. Primarily based on BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive expertise, the iX will get a brand new look — and new kidney grille design — however its dimensions might be much like the present X5 or X6 SUVs. The corporate guarantees about 300 miles of vary and 0-60 mph occasions of slightly below 5 seconds.
BMW has not launched any pricing for the iX but. Rumors earlier this year pegged it at near $100,000.
The corporate says it would have greater than 1,000,000 electrified vehicles on roads by the tip of 2021. Proper now, about 13% of all BMW and MINI fashions registered in Europe are both all-electric or plug-in hybrids, and the expectation is that by 2030, that quantity will improve to 50%.
Coming subsequent yr, that lineup will embrace plenty of new additions to the corporate’s electrified fleet, however the iX is clearly the main target right here, although the next-generation eDrive system may also characteristic within the 2021 i4, for instance, and BMW is experimenting with a 5-Collection mannequin that options three of those new motors for a most energy output of 720 hp (we’re nonetheless speaking about an organization that made its identify by combining efficiency and luxurious, in any case).
With DC quick charging at as much as 200 kW, the iX ought to be capable to cost from 10 to 80% in about 40 minutes. A ten-minute top-off at a fast-charging station must be sufficient for about 75 miles. For probably the most half, that’s in step with comparable electrical vehicles, although Tesla’s V3 Supercharging guarantees considerably sooner recharge occasions and others can cost at greater than 200 kW.
Along with being BMW’s electrical flagship, the iNext/iX unsurprisingly additionally showcases the corporate’s newest expertise improvements. That’s clearly no shock, on condition that BMW has used numerous iterations of its iNext concept car to consider how you can finest combine new applied sciences into its next-generation of automobiles.
For the iX, these embrace all the usual driver help techniques you’d count on in the present day (although particulars there are scarce), a head-up show and enormous screens with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch management show. However what’s possibly much more attention-grabbing right here is the corporate’s over philosophy which the corporate describes as “shy tech.”
“Shy tech refers to expertise that continues to be largely within the background and solely reveals its features when they’re getting used,” the corporate says in in the present day’s announcement. “On entry into the automobile, the operate in query is the electrically powered door locks. The inside welcomes the occupants of all 5 seats with an expensive lounge-style atmosphere, and gives the area required to discover new methods of utilizing time spent contained in the automobile.”
For probably the most half, the consumer interface additionally strips away all distractions to permit the motive force to concentrate on the highway.
It’s no secret that BMW want to — sooner or later — permit drivers to lounge in their self-driving cars. BMW hasn’t talked in regards to the automobile’s driver assistant options but, in order that future hasn’t fairly arrived simply but, however the firm argues that by leaving out the standard heart tunnel, it will probably present a extra “ethereal and specious really feel” that “accentuates the lounge-style atmosphere and long-distance consolation offered by the inside.”
In some ways, the iX is the present apotheosis of BMW’s electrical ambitions, and it’s value noting that, in contrast to others, the corporate is protecting plenty of the event in-house. That features its Dingolfing plant, however as the corporate famous in the present day, additionally it is creating its personal battery cells and a brand new pilot plant for constructing its batteries close to Munich ought to open in 2022. “This pilot plant will make BMW the primary carmaker to cowl the whole course of chain for electrical driving in-house,” BMW argues.
This wouldn’t be a serious tech launch if it didn’t additionally characteristic a 5G side and certainly, the iX will characteristic built-in 5G connectivity, which ought to make it among the many first — if not the primary — 5G-enabled manufacturing automobile. Ideally, meaning larger bandwidth and decrease latency when the automobile wants to connect with the BMW cloud. However as we’ve all discovered from current cellphone launches, 5G is at present extra of a buzzword than game-changing expertise. What’s possibly extra necessary right here is that it might allow new C-V2X (Mobile Car to Every little thing) options that can permit automobiles to speak with one another and close by smartphones — even with out a cell community.