Later and perhaps more reluctantly than other traditional manufacturers, BMW is entering the era of electric cars heralded by Tesla. After the early i3, there were only hybrids for a long time and just the iX3, which is more expensive than the Tesla Model Y and offers less power and range. After all, the more consistent electric i4 should follow next year, and now BMW has shown a preview of its large e-SUV iX for the end of 2021. It plays more in the league of the Model X and is supposed to surpass it technically in part – but on Twitter BMW had to struggle with its kidney problem again.
Electric car shares platform with combustion engines
In BMW’s electric car chronicle, the iX, now shown as an outlook, is the production version of the iNext study from 2018. It is described as a sports activity vehicle, something between SUV, crossover, station wagon and a little coupe. In terms of size, BMW describes length and width as comparable to the X5, in terms of height “due to the flowing roof line” with the X6, in terms of the size of the wheels with the X7.
These comparisons are meaningful insofar as BMW, unlike other up-and-coming manufacturers, does not rely on pure electric car platforms like Tesla for this generation – the X-combustion engines mentioned will use the same basic architecture as the iX electric car. Nevertheless, unlike the iX3 of the Tesla reference Model X, BMW wants to compete technically with the E flagship in its class.
This only applies to the acceleration to a limited extent – which fans of the sporty BMW brand might find disappointing. For the iX, “less than 5.0 seconds” from 0-100 km / h is specified – that can mean a lot, but the Tesla Model X Performance is probably lower with 2.8 seconds. In return, BMW has announced a “range of more than 600 kilometers in the WLTP cycle”. That would actually be just above the Tesla Model X, which currently has a maximum distance of 561 standard kilometers. The iX battery should have “more than 100 kWh” capacity.
What BMW meant by “exceptionally low power consumption in the competitive environment” was initially unclear. In the communication, a target value of less than 21 kWh per 100 WLTP kilometers is mentioned – but Tesla is already below this with the Model X.
Charge faster than Tesla Model X.
Nevertheless, a range of more than 600 kilometers is a word, especially since BMW should also surpass Tesla’s Model X in terms of charging capacity. This can now also charge with suitable V3 superchargers with up to 250 kilowatts, but this does not apply to Europe: Here a CCS adapter is needed for V3 charging with Model S and Model X, which only allows 140 kilowatts.
BMW would certainly have been able to get a little more range if the iX had been joined by a slim electric radiator grille in addition to the “flattest headlight ever realized on a BMW Group model”, according to the announcement. But in this respect the designers are clearly determined: One of the highlights is the kidney grille, which, like in the i4 (and in current BMW combustion engines), is vertical and is downright huge.
Again Twitter ridicule for big kidney
The kidneys in their own electric cars are completely closed because their drive requires little cooling air supply, explains BMW openly – instead, they now serve as an “intelligence surface” with a camera, radar and other sensors. But the concept has been largely ridiculed on Twitter on several occasions because the large and aggressive bogus opening was displeasing to Tesla and other electric car fans.
In one case, after observing a user, BMW had already decided to hide negative Twitter comments on the iNext. When the iX was presented on Wednesday, the social media team was apparently prepared: Again, the intelligence grill was criticized several times, but at least initially it responded with sometimes humorous replicas such as “not too fat, just more space to love”. Nevertheless, BMW and Twitter don’t seem to be friends anymore – at least not before the big barbecue goes.