BMW South Africa has confirmed it will be launching its new iX electric vehicle. Here's what you need to know about it.
The BMW iX is a radically-styled electric Sports Activity Vehicle, and is the first vehicle to be built on a new, modular and scalable toolkit that will underpin future vehicles from the BMW Group.
There's been an intense focus on sustainability in the BMW iX project with the German carmaker claiming there's 'compliance with strict environmental and social standards in the extraction of raw materials, plus the use of electricity from renewable sources and a high proportion of recycled materials in the mix. The resulting carbon footprint is stated in a validation document endorsed by independent auditors. The certificate for the BMW iX xDrive40, for instance, shows its global warming potential is around 45 per cent lower than that of a Sports Activity Vehicle with a comparable diesel engine over 200,000 kilometres of use.'
While questions have been raised about the sustainability of building a green car, BMW is keen to point out the cobalt and lithium for the batteries comes from controlled sources in Australia and Morocco, the cells are manufactured using green power and the aluminium is made using electricity sourced from solar. There's extensive use of recycled plastics and aluminium, while the cabin features FSC-certified wood, leather tanned with olive leaf extracts and other natural materials. Among the raw materials used for the floor coverings and mats are recovered fishing nets.
The new BMW iX will be available in two flavours; BMW iX xDrive50 and BMW iX xDrive40. In the flagship 50 model, there's one electric motor on the front axle and another at the rear. There's over 370 kW on tap and BMW claims a 0-100 kph of just under 5 seconds. The xDrive40 has just over 240 kW and is said to dash to 100 kph in just over 6 seconds.
As far as economy and range go, BMW claims less than 21 kWh per 100 kilometres for the BMW iX xDrive50 and under 20 kWh per 100 kilometres n the case of the BMW iX xDrive40, based on the WLTP cycle. The BMW iX xDrive50 has a range in excess of 600 kilometres in the WLTP test cycle, and the WLTP-calculated range of the BMW iX xDrive40 is more than 400 kilometres. In comparison, the current BMW i3 can only muster 260-310km on a single charge.
The BMW iX xDrive50 can recharge its high-voltage battery at up to 200 kW, while the maximum charging capacity of the BMW iX xDrive40 is 150 kW. Essentially, this means a 10min plug-in time provides 120 kilometres / 90 kilometres of range depending on the model. In both model variants, the high-voltage battery’s charge can be increased from 10 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in under 40 minutes. These claims are predicted, based on the car's current stage of development.
When is the BMW iX coming to SA?
So, when can South Africans expect to see the interestingly-styled, but technologically advanced BMW iX on its roads? BMW South Africa has said it will share more info and details closer to the projected launch date in the first quarter of 2022.
The cabin of the new BMW iX, which is due in SA in the first quarter of 2022.