Hybrids & Electrics

Can the All-Electric BMW iX Dethrone the Tesla Model X?

The world of six-figure electric SUVs grows by one with the debut of the BMW iX. Like most other luxury carmakers, BMW opted to create a flagship EV rather than an affordable option. However, the iX will have to dethrone the current segment favorite, the Tesla Model X. For starters, things look promising on paper. Instead of going for outright performance, the BMW iX focuses largely on luxury materials and compelling features. According to Car and Driver, it should also include an advanced driver assistance system.

The BMW iX has 500 hp and 300 miles of range

A photo of the BMW iX out on the road.
BMW iX | BMW

The BMW iX is set to be the brand’s flagship electric vehicle. The reason why most manufacturers dipping their toes into the EV game creates six-figure models largely has to do with their cost of production. Until batteries are cheap enough for mass-production, EV prices will remain relatively higher than gas-powered cars.

Back to the iX. Since the BMW iX is still not completely developed, we don’t have exact performance figures. Thankfully, BMW shared the stats they’ve got up until now. For starters, two electric motors combine to produce around 500 hp. According to Car and Driver, the iX is supposedly capable of 300 miles on the EPA’s FTP-75 test. The electric SUV should also be capable of reaching 60 mph in around five seconds.

A photo of the BMW iX out on the road.
BMW iX | BMW

However, the BMW iX is set to be far more than just its performance figures. As a BMW flagship, the iX should be an incredibly luxurious vehicle, poised to sit alongside the range-topping X7 and 7-Series. Although the iX doesn’t benefit from any carbon-fiber body panels, Car and Driver reports that it will get the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic we’ve seen in the 7-Series. According to Car and Driver, in 2018, the companies chairman promised that this EV would be capable of more than Level 3 autonomous driving. This would mean drivers don’t have to pay attention to the road. However, the German carmaker has yet to comment on the iX’s self-driving capabilities.

How does the Tesla Model X stack up?

Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X | Tesla

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Now that we’ve covered the BMW iX let’s move on to the current champ, the Tesla Model X. As it stands, the cheapest Model X starts at $79,990. For this, you get a dual-electric-motor setup capable of up to 371 miles of range. Additionally, the base Long Range Plus trim level can reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Given the BMW iX’s stats, this would likely be the closest competitor.

However, the BMW iX is set to start above six-figures, especially when considering its flagship status. In that case, it’ll be competing with the Model X Performance and its $99,990 starting price. However, unlike the lower trim, the higher trim Model X prioritizes performance, reaching 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. Given the shift in focus, the range figure dips slightly to 341 miles. In this scenario, the BMW has been outgunned before it even hits the road.

However, given the BMW iX’s luxury-oriented nature, interior material quality and overall in-person feel could give it an edge in refinement and build quality, seeing as the Model X is no stranger to build quality issues.

The BMW iX arrives in the U.S. in 2022

A photo of the BMW iX out on the road.
BMW iX | BMW

Unfortunately, it seems we’ll have to wait quite a while to see how these two electric SUVs stack up in the real world. According to Car and Driver, the BMW iX is set to arrive in the U.S. in 2022. By then, the luxury SUV market will be flooded as both Mercedes and Audi advance their efforts. As it stands, the Tesla Model X is one of the very few flagship electric SUVs available. It seems the German all-electric SUV will truly have to impress if it wants to dethrone the current champ.