BMW’s second fully electric crossover, and the most technical advanced one, the iX, will start production this year at the Plant Dingolfing in Germany. According to plant manager Christoph Schröder in an interview with Bayerischer Rundfunk, the production of electrified vehicles in Dingolfing will reach more than 40,000 units. This number includes both electric cars and plug-in hybrids and accounts for over 10 percent of the total production.
Plant Dingolfing is BMW Group’s largest vehicle production site in Europe. Around 285,000 vehicles roll off the line every year. The plant currently builds 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Series, as well as components for BMW’s electric vehicles and car bodies for Rolls-Royce. There are 18,000 employees and nearly 1,000 apprentices.
The new iX is the pillar of BMW’s new electric plans which calls for 12 fully electric vehicles by 2023. Ahead of the iX, we will get the i4 Gran Coupe which aims to take on the successful Tesla Model 3. BMW i5 and i7 electric cars will also arrive in 2022-2023.
Rather than a carbon fiber monocoque, like the i3 and all new McLarens, the BMW iX will sport a mix of a carbon fiber cage of sorts and an aluminum space frame. So it’s not as special as the i3 but it’s more special than anything else in BMW’s lineup. It also means that, despite its massive 100 kWh battery pack, it’s relatively lightweight.
Thanks to that new architecture, the BMW iX has quite a few advantages over BMW’s other EVs and hybrids. Its wheelbase is 2.5 cm longer than a BMW X5s, while also having the same length. So it has more interior space and is more stable at speed, without having any larger exterior dimensions. It’s also stiffer than a traditional BMW chassis, due to its extensive use of carbon fiber. Additionally, because its chassis has been built from the ground up solely for EV use, it can fit a proper battery back.
There are a few different trim levels for the iX currently in the works. Our sources say that the entry-level and mid-tier models will be the ones that go into production first. While the top-level model, potentially an M Performance model, won’t begin production until about Spring 2022. The BMW iX that you’re likely expecting, the one that BMW gave specs out for during its initial reveal, is the mid-tier model.
That iX will debut with around 500 horsepower from two electric motors and a 100 kWh battery pack. According to preliminary figures, that BMW iX should top out at around 300 miles of range, estimated. That would put it right in line with cars like the Tesla Model X and allow it to be highly competitive in the segment.
We don’t have any specs about the potentially M-tuned BMW iX but it’s said to potentially pack around 600 horsepower and we’re hearing whispers of the name “iX M50”. We know that BMW is capable of such power, as its Power BEV concept a couple of years back put out around 700 horsepower.