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BMW’s first purpose-built electric SUV – the iX – is priced from £69,905

Whilst the BMW i4 might hold more appeal for purists, the brand’s first purpose-built electric model, the iX, is being branded as the pinnacle of BMW’s electrification strategy. We now know the specifications and prices of UK-bound variants, as well as being given a little teaser of an even more powerful model to come.

On the powertrain front, the iX will come with two power outputs and two battery sizes at launch. Love it or hate it, the flagship electric SUV also gets BMW’s new generation, Marmite styling meaning the enlarged (blanked off) kidney grille at the front, slim LED lights but a slightly more conventional look as you move rearwards. which is possibly a good thing.

You can read all about the styling and some of the original launch details in our first look piece after the iX was revealed.

Powertrains and performance

Unlike the i4, all iX models use BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system with near-actuator wheel slip limitation and electronic torque vectoring. The lowest spec BMW iX available at launch is the xDrve40 which gets 326hp and 465lb-ft of torque for a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds and a limited top speed of 124mph – common with all iX models.

Step things up to the xDrive50 and power jumps to 523hp and torque to 564lb-ft, reducing the 0-62mph time to just 4.6 seconds. Down the line, BMW is promising an M60 version within excess of 600hp. In all cases, BMW is promising sporty handling characteristics not only thanks to electronic wizardry, but also the double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension setups.

Update 05.01.22: BMW has added the most powerful version of the iX to the range. The M60 gets 610bhp and 811lb-ft of torque enabling it to hit 62mph in 3.8 seconds and go on to the limited 155mph top speed. The 105.2kWh battery is standard on the M60 with the SUV able to travel up to 357 miles to a charge at an efficiency of around 3.1 miles per kWh.  

Batteries, range and charging

The BMW iX has two batteries which are distinct to each powertrain. The BMW iX xDrive40 gets a 71kWh (net) battery which, thanks to efficient energy recuperation and a slippery 0.25 drag coefficient, enables the car to travel up to 257 miles on a charge. A much larger 105.2kWh (net) battery stores power for the iX xDrive50, giving it a range of up to 380 miles on a charge and efficiency only 0.5kWh/62 miles down on the smaller, lighter model.

The smaller battery can be charged at a DC maximum of 150kW, offering 10 to 80 per cent in 31 minutes, or 59 miles per ten minutes of charging if the battery has at least 10 per cent charge when commencing. A higher DC maximum of 195kW is possible on the xDrive50’s battery, taking it from 10 to 80 per cent in 35 minutes and adding 90 miles per ten minutes’ charge under the same conditions.

Tech and driver aids

BMW’s latest systems are broadly shared between the iX and the i4, meaning the latest BMW Operating System 8 and BMW iDrive come as standard, alongside the new BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Similarly, the BMW Curved Display, consisting of a 12.3 inch information screen and 14.9 inch touchscreen display angled towards the driver.

If you want to feel slightly fleeced, or if you just like adding cost options on the fly (depending on your opinion), BMW’s ConnectedDrive Store means that functions for which the hardware is already installed, but not activated, can be woken up via over-the-air updates on a functions on demand basis. This includes cloud-based BMW maps and Augmented Reality Video to help with route planning and navigation.

As you’d expect from a flagship car, the iX comes with the most extensive array of driver assistance on any BMW, ever. The necessary sensors – consisting of five cameras, five radar sensors and 12 ultrasonic sensors – and processing technology is built in so that Level 3 autonomous driving will be possible down the line. In the meantime there’s a front collision warning system, steering and lane control assist, active cruise with stop and go, as well as exit warning, parking and reversing assist.

Price and availability

We’re going to have to wait for the official launch in November before we’re likely to know on-the-road dates however BMW has released preliminary prices. The iX xDrive40 Sport costs £69,905 and the M Sport £72,905. The iX xDrive50 sees a leap in price to £91,905 for the Sport and £94,905 for the M Sport.

Update 05.01.22: Prices for the top-of-the-range M60 start at £111,905 with this version of the iX due to arrive in the UK in the summer. 

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