New BMW iX1 EV prepares for launch by 2023

BMW will launch an electric version of the next X1 crossover to rival the Volkswagen ID 4, and our photographers have caught it testing for the first time.

Likely to adopt the iX1 moniker in line with BMW’s EV naming strategy, it will be sold alongside petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the third-generation X1 – which is due to launch next year – but will likely appear later than the ICE variants.

Along with the i7 and i5 saloons, the iX1 will arrive as one of nine new electric BMW models by 2025. Under the Power of Choice banner, the firm has committed to selling more than seven million PHEVs and EVs by the end of 2030.

The iX1 will serve as the entry point into the brand’s expanding electric SUV range, sitting underneath the new iX3 and the flagship iX. It will also indirectly replace the i3 supermini, which has been on sale since 2013.

Technical details remain unconfirmed, but the iX1 can be expected to use a variation of the iX3’s fifth-generation eDrive powertrain, which comprises a 210kW motor driving the rear axle and an 80kWh lithium ion battery pack that offers 460 kilometres of range in the larger car.

It will play a central role in BMW’s electric offensive, given the popularity of the conventionally fuelled X1. In its first five full years on sale, the crossover has sold more than 500,000 units in Europe alone.

As well as an electric option, the third-generation X1 will usher in a bold new look inspired by the more style-led X2, while strengthening its ties to its 1 Series hatchback sibling with a larger front grille.

It will sit atop a reworked version of the current car’s UKL platform, with modifications to accommodate the electric powertrain option.

Expect the iX1 to share a cabin design with the other X1 variants, bringing the latest generation of BMW’s iDrive infotainment software and a raft of advanced driver aids.

Felix Page

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