BMW’s new electric flagship, the strikingly styled iX SUV, will enter full production at the firm’s Dingolfing factory in Germany later this year with a choice of two powertrains.
The newly detailed, entry-level iX xDrive40 uses the same twin-motor, four-wheel-drive configuration as the xDrive50 range-topper but with power output reduced from 375kW to “more than 225kW”. It has been priced to match a “comparable” conventionally fuelled BMW X5.
Despite the power deficit, the less performance-oriented model is only around a second slower over the 0-100km/h dash than the xDrive50, at “a shade over 6.0sec”, and is capable of the same 200km/h top speed.
The iX xDrive40 offers a claimed range of more than 400 kilometres per charge from its 70kWh-plus battery pack, whereas the more expensive car’s 100kWh-plus pack boosts range to 600 kilometres.
BMW has optimised range by increasing the energy density of the batteries, rather than the size of the units themselves, in an effort to keep weight down. The xDrive40 is capable of charging at speeds of up to 150kW, which, BMW claims, is fast enough to gain more than 100 kilometres of charge in as little as 10 minutes, whereas the xDrive50 has 200kW charging capability for 75 miles in 10 minutes. Both cars, the company claims, can be charged from 10% to 80% capacity in less than 40 minutes and use less than 21kWh of electricity per 100 kilometres travelled, on average.
Over the course of 200,000 kilometres, BMW claims, the iX xDrive40 has a 45%-lower global warming potential than that of a comparable diesel car.
The company is working to improve the sustainability of its supply chain and the increased use of recycled materials for the iX helps to cut production process emissions by 18%.
BMW now also procures the cobalt and lithium used for its EV batteries itself, to ensure that “environmental and sustainability standards are observed”.