BMW’s iNext electric vehicle concept, unveiled in September 2018, is turning into a real car: the BMW iX.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled the new SUV (or, as BMW calls it, SAV — Sports Activity Vehicle). It’s far from launch, but the design BMW revealed is a lot closer to what the final version will look like.
In terms of design, the BMW iX is quite a bit tamer than the iNext, which pretty much looked like a Transformers character. The headlights are a bit wider, the overall shape is a little less angular, and the enormous kidney grille on the front is…well, still enormous. Sorry. It’s not for nothing, though — the grille is “intelligent” and hosts camera, radar and other sensors.
On the inside, the iX will be busier than the very sparse iNext concept, but it will have a few little touches to remind you that this is BMW’s vision of the future. These include the hexagonally shaped steering wheel, and a massive, curved display.
The iX, which is a fairly large SUV (BMW says it’s comparable with the BMW X5 in length and X6 in height), will be fast. Powered by two electric motors, it will have around 500 horsepower, which should propel it from 0 to 62mph in under 5 seconds.
The car’s range will be in line with top electric models of today; BMW predicts an EPA rating of 300 miles. It will also support DC fast charging at up to 200 kW. The company says the iX’s battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent capacity in under 40 minutes, and just 10 minutes should be enough to give it 75 miles of range.
While the iNext was all about autonomous driving — BMW spoke about Level 3 autonomy, which is pretty close to just letting the car drive itself — the company didn’t exactly say how autonomous the iX will be. BMW did say that the car will have the computing power to process “20 times the data volume of previous models,” though.
The BMW iX will go into production in the second half of 2021, and should become available in the U.S. in “early 2022.” The company did not announce pricing.