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The Ghastly Grille Continues

BMW continues its assault on our optic nerves with yest another rendition of their ghastly new corporate kidney grille design in the new iX. Read more from BMW down below.


A vision is turning into reality, as the BMW Vision iNEXT becomes the BMW iX. With time still to go before its expected U.S. market launch in early 2022 and with the series development phase ongoing, BMW is providing a first look ahead at the future BMW iX. With its completely newly developed design, the BMW iX is the first representative of a generation of cars poised to redefine the driving experience, the feeling of space inside and the relationship between vehicles and those on board.


A vision is turning into reality, as the BMW Vision iNEXT becomes the BMW iX. With time still to go before its expected U.S. market launch in early 2022 and with the series development phase ongoing, BMW is providing a first look ahead at the future BMW iX. With its completely newly developed design, the BMW iX is the first representative of a generation of cars poised to redefine the driving experience, the feeling of space inside and the relationship between vehicles and those on board.


The BMW iX is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable architecture on which the future of the BMW Group will be built. Conceived from the outset as purely electric mobility, the iX sees BMW redefining the successful Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) concept. The BMW iX has been created to provide something beyond just mobility – an exhilarating driving experience combined with a sense of wellbeing for both drivers and passengers all the while enjoying the journey with safety, security, and a new form of luxury in the process.


“The BMW Group is constantly striving to re-invent itself. That is a central element of our corporate strategy,” says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “The BMW iX expresses this approach in an extremely concentrated form.”


Interested U.S. customers can sign up for BMW iX updates at www.bmwusa.com/future-vehicles/ix.html


BMW’s new technology flagship – the “workshop for the future”


The design and technology of the BMW iX form an integrated package that lays the foundations for what is in many respects a new kind of driving experience. In so doing, it embodies the character of the BMW i brand, whose mission is to transform personal mobility. BMW i plays a central role at the BMW Group as a “workshop for the future” and as a driver of innovation across the company. The BMW i3 – conceived from day one to be a lightweight and fun to drive electric vehicle– provided a future-focused springboard towards sustainable urban mobility. The visionary design of the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 has come to exemplify leading-edge drivetrain technology in the premium sports car segment.



The BMW iX goes into production at BMW Plant Dingolfing in the second half of 2021 and is scheduled to arrive on U.S. shores in early 2022. The iX will bring together the company’s latest developments in the strategic innovation fields of Design, Connectivity, Electrification, Digital Services and Sustainability. This is reflected in areas of the car such as its optimized aerodynamics, intelligent lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic design as well as extensive use of natural and recycled materials.



Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology delivers efficiency and range


The fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology – which encompasses two electric motors, the power electronics, the charging technology and the high-voltage battery – delivers improved efficiency and performance. The power unit developed by the BMW Group and manufactured sustainably without the use of rare earth raw materials will, by the most recent calculations, develop an output of around 500 hp. That will be enough to propel the BMW iX from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5.0 seconds.



At the same time, the vehicle’s aim is to deliver a lower combined electric power consumption figure which equates to a range of 300 miles according to the EPA’s FTP-75 test procedure. (All figures relating to performance, energy consumption and range are predicted values based on the car’s current stage of development.)



DC fast charging: over 75 miles of range in ten minutes


The new charging technology of the BMW iX enables DC fast charging at up to 200 kW. The battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent capacity in under 40 minutes. In just ten minutes, enough energy can be fed into the battery to increase the car’s range by around 75 miles. It takes less than eleven hours to charge the high-voltage battery from 0 to 100 per cent at 11 kW Level 2 charging station.


The batteries fitted in the BMW iX are designed as part of a long-term resource cycle and allow for a very high recycling rate. The power used to produce the battery cells and the high-voltage batteries comes exclusively from renewable sources.


“Technology is driving the advances we need to tackle even the greatest challenges. This applies in particular to climate protection,” says Oliver Zipse. “We are in no doubt: mobility has to be sustainable if it is to represent a truly outstanding solution. For the BMW Group, premium mobility is not possible without responsibility.”


BMW Charging Powered by EVgo


Recognizing the critical importance of public charging infrastructure to EV drivers in the U.S., BMW is partnering with EVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging network and the first in the U.S. to be powered by 100% renewable energy. The new BMW Charging service will provide BMW EV and PHEV drivers with access to EVgo and partner charging network stations via an easy to use mobile app, underscoring BMW’s commitment to a high performance and zero emissions driving experience. BMW Charging Powered by EVgo will enable BMW drivers to see the real-time status of chargers, initiate a charging session, check their account status, and more.



EVgo’s public fast charging network offers the convenience of charging at more than 800 fast charging locations at retail and grocery stores, shopping malls, entertainment centers and other sites ideal for quick, 20 to 30-minute errands. Plus, for drivers who will be parked for a few hours, EVgo’s relationships with partner networks will provide access to more than 35,000 Level 2 chargers for drivers, expanding the variety of charging options. Through the new partnership with EVgo, buyers and lessees of qualifying fully electric BMW models will receive $100 in EVgo charging credit that can be used through the BMW Charging app at EVgo and partner network stations across all 50 states.


Starting from December 2020, new electrified BMW owners will be able to sign up for the BMW Charging Powered by EVgo program using the Personal Activation Code provided in the Welcome Email of their new electrified BMW. A download of the BMW Charging App will allow them to find available chargers, swipe to start their charging sessions and access account information on their mobile phone.


New iX technology architecture underpins further advances


The new technology architecture making its debut in the BMW iX provides the platform for significant progress in the areas of digital services and future automated driving systems. For example, the level of computing power has been developed to process 20 times the data volume of previous models. As a result, around double the amount of data from vehicle sensors can be processed than was previously possible allowing for more advanced future assist systems.



“All the innovations are impressive on an individual level. But only together can they make a real difference,” explains Oliver Zipse. “We are integrating technological progress – in all its complexity and interdependence – into inspirational and sustainable products.”



“The BMW iX shows how we can give new technologies a very modern and emotional design. The car is technologically complex, but it feels very clear and uncomplicated,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW iX offers a mobile living space in which people will feel at ease, where the car’s intelligence is only there when you need it.”



Muscular SAV proportions and intelligent kidney grille


With its exterior dimensions, the BMW iX combines fully electric all-wheel drive with the functionality of the BMW X5, with the sporting nature of the BMW X6 and with the visual impact of the BMW X7. The result is a distinctive re-imagining of the powerful proportions of a large BMW SAV. The BMW iX is comparable with the BMW X5 in length and width and is almost the same height as the BMW X6. The available 20-inch, 21-inch and 22-inch wheels, meanwhile, bring to mind the BMW X7. A wheelbase measuring exactly 118-inches and wide front and rear tracks provide the ideal platform for chassis tuning which combines luxurious long-distance comfort and sporty driving characteristics.



The front-end design of the BMW iX gives it an eye-catching presence. The signature BMW visuals – a distinctive BMW kidney grille and equally familiar twin headlights – have been newly interpreted with a futuristic style. Since the electric drive system of the BMW iX requires only a small amount of cooling air, the kidney grille is completely closed off. Its role has turned digital and here it functions as an intelligence panel. Camera technology, radar functions and other sensors are integrated seamlessly into the grille behind a transparent surface. The heating elements and cleaning system for the sensors are also embedded in the grille front.



In order to guarantee the greatest possible precision when using the radar sensor mounted behind the kidney grille, a nanoscale vacuum-based coating process is employed in its manufacture. Here, the two-color finish and visible 3D effect are produced by vaporization using laser technology and by a plasma-fired application technique in a vacuum. A combination of the laser-based method developed specially for production of the kidney grille on the iX and a precisely defined combination of material and layer thickness optimize radar performance.


An additional polyurethane coating reduces the kidney grille’s susceptibility to damage. The self-healing effect of its surface can repair minor scratches, for example – within 24 hours at room temperature or through a five-minute supply of warm air.



Significant computing power, a system of sensors with exceptional capability, and continuous optimization with the help of artificial intelligence and Data-Driven Development provide new ways of improving the driver’s experience in the future when it comes to comfort and safety. Further developed and additional functions can be imported into the car via Remote Software Upgrade. This is a convenient way of keeping the car and its software technologically up to date at all times.



Groundbreaking panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading


The available panoramic glass roof features a large single-piece transparent surface that spans the entire interior, making it the largest glass roof ever fitted in a model from the BMW Group. The panoramic glass roof greatly enhances the sense of spaciousness and the lounge-style ambience inside the BMW iX and maximizes headroom for the occupants by removing the need for an interior shade liner. The new glass roof features electrochromic shading instead, which can be activated at the press of a button to shield the interior from direct sunlight.


The panoramic roof is composed of a steel frame, two laminated glass panels and three layers of film sandwiched in between. This construction offers both optimum protection against ultraviolet rays and an excellent standard of acoustic comfort. The upper glass panel’s triple silver low emittance coating is designed to maintain a comfortable cabin climate.


Instead of having an interior shade, the roof is the only one of its kind in the automotive industry to employ PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) technology for shading the interior. The panoramic glass roof's transparency is altered by applying a voltage to the middle layer of film. The liquid crystals dispersed as droplets in a polymer matrix are aligned by electrical energy to allow rays of light to pass through into the interior unimpeded. When de-energized, it takes less than a second for the crystals to distribute themselves in a disorderly pattern that creates the effect of shade. This electrochromic shading function can be switched on and off using a button at the front of the panoramic glass roof. Shade mode is also activated automatically once the BMW iX has been parked.



LED headlights and BMW Laserlight


The slimmest headlight units to ever be featured on a series-produced BMW provide a new and minimalist take on BMW’s familiar face. Daytime driving lights, with integrated turn signals, have a new design as two-dimensional strips along the upper edge of the headlight units.


The BMW iX is fitted with standard full-LED headlights. The darkened lights are set back into the inner sections of the headlights and only become visible when switched on. The latest generation of BMW Laserlight is available as an option, teaming Adaptive LED Headlights and a new type of Laserlight module. This headlight variant also generates low and high beam from both the outer and inner light sources.


The hood of the BMW iX, with its pronounced three-dimensional sculpting, extends up to the headlights and BMW kidney grille. The hood lines converge on the kidney grille and the BMW logo above it. The roundel has a functional component, serving as the filler neck for the washer fluid. It opens and closes – once the fluid has been topped up – with a gentle push. The hood does not have an opening mechanism for use by the customer; the drive systems and power electronics can only be accessed by workshop technicians.


Doors with integrated flush handles and frame-less windows


The BMW iX features electric door handles which fit flush into the door surfaces and are finished in a contrasting color. Indirect illumination of the handle recesses provides them with a premium backdrop. With the latest generation of the Comfort Access system, the doors lock or unlock automatically as the owner approaches or walks away from the car via the signal sent to the car from the remote control or from the BMW Digital Key (via the customer’s smartphone).


Doors with frameless windows are making their debut in a large BMW SAV on the iX. Seen previously only on BMW coupés, this design feature underlines the sporting character of the BMW iX and brings a flowing appearance to the side of the vehicle as a whole. The high-gloss black trim for the B-pillars provides an attractive contrast against the body color. Three layers of sealing around the doors provides excellent acoustic comfort.



Aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, black body edging


The innovative design of the exterior mirrors on the BMW iX helps to reduce wind noise, optimizes aerodynamics and improves all-round visibility. The super-slim mirror bases attach to the lower edge of the side window surround, removing the need for the classic mirror triangle at the front of the side windows. The mirror caps are painted in body color and bordered at their lower edge by the mirror base in high-gloss black, creating an attractive color contrast. The turn indicators measure only around two millimeters in width and are integrated into the exterior mirrors behind glass covers.


Among the design features familiar from classical BMW X models is the black surround at the lower edge of the body. On the BMW iX, this extends further up and forms a band around the entire car, from the front bumper along the sides into the rear. The charging port is located in the same place as the fuel filler neck on conventionally powered BMW models – behind a flap on the right-rear wheel arch.



Rear end design: modern, minimalist, eye-catching


The character of the BMW iX is also faithfully reflected in the design of the rear of the vehicle. The modern and minimalist design language with a small number of seams and character lines exudes an aura of sophistication. The aerodynamics of the BMW iX are enhanced by the flow of air over the roof all the way to its trailing edge, and by a diffuser element in the rear bumper.


The tailgate has no separation seams and extends across the whole of the rear, showcasing the expressive surfacing to a vivid effect. The rear-view camera is integrated into the black ring of the large BMW logo positioned in the center of the tailgate. The camera lens is cleaned automatically by a water spray system which extends from behind the surface of the roundel.



Slim rear lights with striking design


Like the headlights, the rear single-piece LED lights have a slimmer design than on any previous series-produced BMW Group vehicle. The familiar L-shape from other BMW models is used in a modern interpretation. Secondary light units positioned at the outer edges of the car beyond the tailgate opening include turn indicators, rear lights and brake lights, ensuring that the relevant light signals are still visible when the tailgate is open.



Shy tech for the exterior: subtly integrated technology


As well as the intelligence panel in the BMW kidney grille, the BMW iX also has an array of discreetly positioned cameras and sensors – used by the driver assistance systems to make life easier for the driver in monotonous or unclear driving situations – that espouse the principle of “shy tech”. For example, the distance measurement sensors are integrated inconspicuously into the black body edging at the front and rear of the car. The flush-fitted door handles and the rear-view camera with cleaning system integrated into the BMW badge on the tailgate are also examples of shy tech at work. The underlying principle here is that the technology stays in the background and only becomes apparent as and when the relevant functions are called into action.



Accents available in BMW i Blue identify sustainability


The BMW iX’s numerous design accents can be ordered in high-gloss black or in signature BMW i blue. As well as the blue circle of the BMW logo on the hood and tailgate, these elements include blue accents in the outer areas of the bumper to emphasize the front end’s air ducting. A blue accent strip in the side skirts references the presence of the high-voltage battery positioned low down in the floor of the BMW iX.


In the lower section of the rear bumper, two blue trim elements are positioned at the outer edges to stand out from the standard black surfaces. They border the taillight units, the rear diffuser and highlight both the excellent aerodynamic attributes of the BMW iX and its electric drive system.


Optimized aerodynamics for increased range


For years now, the BMW Group has reduced fuel consumption and emissions to great effect with Efficient Dynamics. In the BMW iX, this strategy is implemented in a new way that defines the vehicle’s character, encompassing not just the ultra-efficient electric drive system, but also optimizing its aerodynamic properties and weight. Reduced air resistance and intelligent lightweight design are both important contributory factors to the all-electric SAV’s range.


The car’s handling qualities and the level of cabin comfort benefit directly from the reduction in drag and the bodywork structure with its aluminum spaceframe and pioneering Carbon Cage. One notable difference compared to conventionally powered BMW X models is the positioning of the A-pillars much further forward. The extremely compact design of the eDrive technology paves the way for the shorter front end and the extra space this brings inside the BMW iX.



Capitalizing on the benefits provided by the all-electric drivetrain and implementing proven measures from the past serves to optimize the aerodynamic properties of the BMW iX, which in turn has a positive impact on both its performance and range. The low aerodynamic drag can be attributed to not only the streamlined body, the tapered glasshouse, flush-fitting door handles, extremely slender exterior mirrors and precisely designed aerodynamic aids, but also to a host of other careful design measures. As a result, the BMW iX boasts outstanding aerodynamics for its class, with a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.25.



The aerodynamic elements for the front end, rear end, underbody and wheel areas alone add over 40 miles (WLTP measurement) to the car’s overall range. Some 16 miles (WLTP measurement) of this can be attributed to the third-generation active air flap control at the front of the vehicle, which directs cooling air to the drive units and brake system when required.



In normal driving situations, both the BMW kidney grille and the air intakes at the bottom of the front bumper are completely sealed off. This default setting allows the air to flow around the vehicle unhindered, significantly reducing aerodynamic drag. The electronically controlled air flaps are only fully opened in the rare case that the maximum amount of cooling air is required. The flaps can be adjusted gradually, allowing cooling air to be directed efficiently to the brake air ducts and drive components in carefully metered quantities.


On models with the Sport package, the air flaps are complemented by carefully engineered apertures in the outer areas of the front bumper which optimize the airflow along the vehicle. These vertically arranged Air Curtains divert the airstream in such a way that it flows along the faces of the wheels without generating the customary turbulence. The way in which the glasshouse tapers towards the back combines with specially designed air deflectors to reduce aerodynamic drag at the rear. Here, vertical Air Blades on either side of the rear window and the roof spoiler combine to form a sharp aero edge that minimizes the amount of vacuum produced behind the vehicle and its negative impact on aerodynamics. The combined benefits of the Air Curtains and Air Blades extend the car’s range by approximately 9 miles (WLTP measurement).



Another drag-reducing feature on the BMW iX is the sealing measures of the underbody. Spanning the largest area between the front and rear axle is the smooth aluminum casing of the high-voltage battery, which is located low down in the vehicle floor. At the front end, streamlined elements direct the oncoming air past the wheels to prevent adverse turbulence. Airflow along the rear is smoothed by the large rear axle cover and the rear bumper’s diffuser. All other underbody components are optimized in terms of their aerodynamic impact. Overall, the aerodynamics measures for the underbody of the BMW iX account for around 6 miles (WLTP measurement) of its long range.



Lower air resistance and weight: Air Performance Wheels


The BMW iX rides on standard 20-inch light-alloy wheels with an aerodynamically optimized design. The mostly enclosed surfaces bring about an effective reduction in the air turbulence produced around the wheels. The optional 21-inch and 22-inch Air Performance Wheels help to reduce drag in a very innovative way. These wheels combine optimized aerodynamic properties with the elegance of a V-spoke aluminum wheel.


The Air Performance Wheels are made of an aluminum base wheel with customized inserts between the spokes that gives them a flat design, especially on the outside of the wheel, resulting in far smoother airflow. They weigh around 15 per cent less than conventional light-alloy wheels. Range is increased by as much as 9 miles (WLTP measurement) courtesy of the Air Performance Wheels.



Intelligent material mix: combining weight reduction and maximum rigidity


The aluminum space-frame body structure of the BMW iX is a first for its segment. The materials selected and manufacturing processes increase body rigidity and crash safety while keeping weight as low as possible.



Remarkably light yet extremely rigid Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic components in the body’s side, rear and roof areas form a key element of the safety concept for the BMW iX passenger cell. The CFRP components for the side frame, rain channels, roof frame, cowl panel and rear window frame combine to form a “Carbon Cagep”. The BMW Group has employed its many years of experience in working with CFRP – amassed during production of the BMW i models and the current BMW 7 Series – to use CFRP intelligently to reinforce the body while also saving weight and improving vehicle agility. The Carbon Cage has evolved from the Carbon Core used in the 7 Series and allows the beneficial qualities of this high-tech material to be appreciated visually as well.


Fitting a lightweight CFRP side frame instead of a conventional steel part shaves several pounds off the vehicle’s weight. The cowl panel and rear window frame components are manufactured from continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) using an all-new method. Together, they constitute an effective lightweight design. The innovative blend of materials forms the basis for an exceptionally slim profile that adds to the sense of spaciousness in the cabin. The CFRP used in the side frame and at the rear end lends an added visual appeal to the BMW iX: the carbon components’ recognizable fiber structures clearly stand out in the entrance area and when the tailgate is open, providing a reminder of the car’s high-tech character.



Interior: Where people are center stage and technology fades into the background


“We designed the BMW iX from the inside out,” says Domagoj Dukec, Vice President BMW Design. “In the process, we took particular care to create a modern, warm and minimalist interior design with a very spacious feel.”


Vast amounts of room, a top-quality selection of materials, newly developed seating and the extraordinary expanse of the single-piece panoramic glass roof combine to immerse all five seats inside the BMW iX in a luxurious lounge-style ambience. The all-new architecture of the BMW iX cabin underpins a straightforward functionality that revolves entirely around the needs and of the driver and fellow occupants. The eDrive concept means there is no center tunnel, adding to the open, airy feel while allowing extra front and rear legroom, sufficient space for storage and a center console crafted to look like a high-quality piece of furniture.



The displays and controls are all stripped down to their essentials, reinforcing the impression of an uncluttered relaxing cabin. The shy tech approach for the interior can be seen in a number of features, including hidden speakers, intricately styled air vents, radiant heated surfaces and the discreet recessing of the BMW Head-Up Display’s projector into the instrument panel so it is almost invisible.



The hexagonally shaped steering wheel, a rocker switch for gear selection and the freestanding BMW Curved Display – which forms part of the next-generation of BMW Operating System – advertise the futuristic interaction of driver and vehicle.


Clearly structured surfaces for a generous sense of space.


An ambiance of modern luxury sets the tone for the BMW iX interior while the minimalistic design language gives the cabin an exceptionally spacious feel.


The door panel layout features a distinctive diagonal split using different colors and materials. The door pull-handles are sleekly integrated into the diagonal accent strip that houses the button for activating the electric door opening function. Buttons for adjusting the seat position are located on top of the front doors where they are ergonomically arranged in the form of a seat. The memory buttons are positioned directly alongside. The passenger-side armrest incorporates a compartment for holding a mobile phone while the audio system’s midrange speakers are embedded beneath the door panels’ fabric trim, hidden from sight.