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The BMW iX is the automaker’s latest venture into the electric SUV market, offering both competitive range and horsepower estimates. It joins the electric BMW i4 and i7 sedans, with the former being available for over $50,000. The other two are pricier, with fully-loaded models reaching triple-digit territory.

The BMW i4 and i7 are named after their respective series of existing gas-powered sedans. However, the name of the BMW iX looks slightly more unusual. What does it stand for?

An electric SUV, the 2022 BMW iX offers comparable range to a Tesla Model X.
2022 BMW iX | BMW

A quick rundown of the BMW iX’s development

BMW gave us some details about the iX’s creation in a 2021 press release. It was modeled after the automaker’s SAV concept series, which includes the BMW iX3. This model was developed to be a bigger version of the BMW i3, which was discontinued in the same year as the iX’s release.

The BMW i3 is a tiny luxury electric SUV that only gets 153 miles of electric range at best. It could also be optioned with a gas engine for more driving range. Still, both its performance and interior accommodations fell short of what you’d expect from a luxury EV.

DesignBoom shows us that the iX3 concept was built to offer better styling, plus better range and horsepower estimates. The i3 could only make up to 181 hp if you got the optional gas engine. That brought the SUV’s electric range to just 126 miles.

The iX3’s all-electric powertrain generates 270 hp. Additionally, it can be driven for 249 miles on a full battery. The iX3 was eventually released in other countries outside of the United States.

The BMW iX would also inherit some styling cues from the iVision Next concept, which was first unveiled in 2018. This concept’s exterior design was more unconventional compared to the BMW iX we got, and some proposed technology (like color-changing seats) is absent. However, the final version still comes with the automaker’s iconic kidney-shaped grille and slim LED headlights.

What does ‘iX’ mean?

Users on BimmerWerkz (a popular BMW fan forum) speculate that iX signifies a BMW car’s AWD capabilities. It’s an understandable conclusion given that xDrive has always been used to designate the automaker’s AWD vehicles. In this case, the ‘X’ simply confirms that the vehicle is a crossover and the ‘i’ in its name is how BMW indicates that any given model is an EV.

The current state of the BMW iX

After the BMW iX was approved for production in 2020, official manufacturing started the following year. AutoEvolution initially thought that the SUV would be released in 2021, but the EV’s production was slightly delayed. It was finally released in March 2022 for the 2022 model year.

The iX’s powertrain is more powerful than the iX3’s, generating 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque. It has standard AWD thanks to its dual-electric motors and gets 324 miles of range. The automaker promises that it can get to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

BMW also claims that the M60 performance variant can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. New for the 2023 model year, this one is capable of 610 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque. Its electric range drops to 288 miles.

Both versions come with gorgeous interiors packed with some of BMW’s latest technology offerings. You get a 14.9-in touchscreen and navigation, plus smartphone integration for both Android and Apple devices.

Fully-loaded models allow you to use the infotainment screen with hand gestures, plus feature augmented reality elements for the navigation system. We’re excited to see what the future holds for the rest of BMW’s ‘i’ lineup.


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