BMW just unveiled its EV flagship; the iX, and it is one ugly SUV. BMW seems to have focussed on EVs to the detriment of styling. This latest shows that ugly is creeping into all BMW models. Not that there aren’t some great features to tout.
BMW has had its all-electric i3 for almost eight years
Powered by two electric motors pumping out 500 hp, it has a driving range of 300 miles rounding its European WLTP cycle numbers of 600 km. It’s the first of what will be many EVs based on BMW’s latest “eDrive” all-electric technology. What’s so strange about that is that BMW has had its all-electric i3 for almost eight years from a concept seen at the 2011 German International Auto Show. What took so long?
It and the i8 are all that BMW has to show leading up to the iX. Neither the i3 nor i8 has been sales stars. But the technology has kept BMW in the game ultimately leading to the iX.
Since the i3 was launched BMW has mostly dabbled in a variety of plug-in hybrids
In those years since the i3 was launched BMW has mostly dabbled in a variety of plug-in hybrids. But hybrids are only a stepping stone to all-electric vehicles and so BMW has been playing catch-up while Tesla is dominating the hot segment. As a result, BMW’s stock shares have dropped 40% from their high in 2015. The result? BMW is valued at $53 billion with Tesla way ahead at $389 billion.
It’s how the world spins today. EV technology is a coveted asset in market valuations because it is where everything is headed. But BMW isn’t doing itself any favors. With the iX priced at over $88,000, it is priced beyond all Teslas and other more reasonably-priced EVs. If it is like Jaguar’s I-Pace expect maybe 6-10 thousand a year. But Jag’s EV is a lot better looking.
The iX does have some perks that Tesla wishes it had. There are no rare-earth metals used in battery technology. Tesla only recently advanced to a similar state. Carbon fiber is used extensively in the body shell to save weight. It doesn’t do a very good job of that as with 500 hp the iX only sees zero to 60 mph times of five-seconds flat. That from an SUV around the size of an X5 SUV.
BMW will give new iX owners $100 of free charging
With its 200kW battery charger, you can charge up to 80% power in 40 minutes. Once those batteries are dead they have high recyclability with the materials used. Using the EVGo charging network BMW will give new owners $100 of free charging.
While the outside is a turn off the inside is captivating. The panoramic glass roof puts light on the features like the free-floating infotainment screen. That enhances the digital gauge cluster and a head-up display. LED lighting can be adjusted to various colors and intensities.
The iX will hit European showrooms in 2021 with US dealerships seeing them in 2022. Don’t expect to see a ton of them out in the wild. When you do see one let’s hope it is better-looking in person than it is in the images BMW has provided.