2021 will bring one of the most technologically advanced cars ever created by BMW. The BMW iNext (iX) is the company’s first true competitor to Tesla offerings and aims to play in the high-end market of electric crossovers. Despite not many spy photos, rendering artists are already putting out their own interpretation of the car.
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The new flagship of the BMW i sub-brand is roughly the size of the current X5 and should not only impress with its electric drive, but also set new standards in the areas of autonomous driving and connectivity.
Renderings: @zer.o.wt on Instagram
It is also clear that the BMW iNext, or iX as that might be the final name, will not exclusively use the new features. Whether electric drive or assistance systems, a large part of the technology will also be used in the next BMW 7 Series G70 and then gradually move into other models as well.
On the name topic, the rumor is that BMW will also follow a more traditional approach, naming the iNEXT cars based on their power output. Thus, we’ll be looking at the BMW iX xDrive40, iX xDrive50 and iX M50 xDrive models once they come out. Apparently, M Performance models will still be a thing without internal combustion engines altogether.
When it was unveiled in 2018, BMW showed a vision car of the upcoming iNEXT electric vehicle. The concept car was extremely polarizing and as you’d expect, highly controversial. While the overall shapes resembled a classic BMW crossover, its front-end was a departure from the iconic styling cues.
Arguably, it was the kidney grille which attracted the most criticism. The one piece grille is large in size, extending vertically from the lower bumper to the hood. It also featured a mesh grille which was filled behind it with numerous sensors.
But a more recent report says that some significant design changes are coming to the iNEXT front fascia before it goes on sale in 2021. The unusual grille of BMW’s 2018 Vision iNext has been abandoned following feedback, design chief Domagoj Dukec has revealed for Autocar.
Most of the two vertical bars that separate one kidney from the other made way for the iNext’s arsenal of sensors required for autonomous driving. “We test what works aesthetically,” said Dukec of the iNext, which “reinvented our icons and form language. We connected the kidneys because of sensors, but we’ve decided not to do it. It wasn’t considered to be a BMW kidney grille any more.
“The grille is critical, so the iNext, the i4 and the iX3 will get separated kidneys – we spent the money to have sensors that can see through the chrome.”
Earlier this year, a report by Automobile Mag references some of the iX models to be offered. The entry level iX model is said to have a 63 kWh battery pack and a total of 335 HP with a range of 285 miles (460 km). This will be the lightest of the three with a weight under 5,300 lbs (2.4 tons). Those figures would allow it to do 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The mid-tier model will reportedly have a 92 kWh battery, 429 HP and with a sprint time of 3.5 seconds, the range being estimated at 350 miles (over 560 km).
Last but not least important, the top tier version should have two motors. There would be one at the front axle good for 200 hp and one at the rear for 335 for a total of over 500 HP. This one would also get a 103 kWh battery pack and an under 3 seconds sprint to the benchmark 62 mph speed. This top model will get 350 miles of range between charges.
Such a line-up would have prices spread between 72,000 Euros to over 100,000 before options.