With a toothy grill grin and a truncated interpretation of the futuristic styling originally hinted by the 2018 BMW iNext concept vehicle reveal, the 2022 BMW iX arrives as a nearly finalized electric-powered flagship SUV whose best features and design details are hidden behind closed doors.
Crisp and minimalist, the BMW retains some of the hallmark exterior stylings of the iNext concept that inspired the silhouette of this nearly production ready vehicle. But gone are those enormous satellite dish wheels and various subtle styling cues that gave the concept a more dynamic and forward leaning profile.
The limitations and requirements of safety and manufacturing have edited some of the most bold propositions of the original Vision concept design, but the electric dreams of a sleek living room on wheels remains intact within its four doors – “a luxurious, lounge-like ambience” that takes advantage of the spacious interior cabin freed up by an electric powered system. A curved 14.9-inch infotainment screen sits center stage across an otherwise restrained dash.
The results are intended to be evocative of a “high-quality piece of furniture,” with an interior that straddles plush comfort with a structural minimalism that doesn’t distract as much as it informs driver and occupants of all the comfort and tech features available. This includes a spare layout of physical controls partnered with a single curved display dedicated to driving controls and infotainment options.
While the touch capacitive carpet seats are gone, there’s still an expanse of texture contoured across nearly every surface. Note the angled division of material treatments across the passenger door shown below.
The BMW iX also has the unique designation as BMW’s first car to have been developed using gaming technology. What does that mean exactly? Engineers and designers used a mixed reality system to review and tweak the static geometry of the iX with a greater deal of simulated interactive feedback via VR headset.
Performance-wise, the SUV – or rather, Sports Activity Vehicle, as BMW is designated the iX – delivers more than 300 miles of range as operated by the fifth generation BMW eDrive technology, harnessing the collaborative effort between two electric motors, the power electronics, the charging technology and the high-voltage battery for a maximum output of more than 370 kW/500 hp. Off the line, the BMW iX will jet from 0 to 62 mph in a hair under 5.0 seconds.
Expect to see more details about iX well before its early 2022 launch date, with more electrified variants of other models guaranteed to follow the trail blazed by the iX. Tell us what you think below.