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BMW iX launches as electric flagship SUV

High-tech electric SUV will become the brand's flagship when it goes on sale at the end of the year

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BMW has unveiled the iX, a high-tech electric SUV will become the brand’s flagship model when it goes on sale in November.

Likely to attract most comment for its bold styling – including an enormous front ‘kidney grille’ – the iX will be available in two versions. Prices will start at just under £70K.

Both models will use the same combination of all-wheel-drive powertrain from two motors, one driving each axle, but with different power ratings. BMW describes the iX as the brand’s first all-wheel-drive pure electric vehicle.

The entry-level xDrive 40 model will produce 326hp giving it a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds, BMW claiming an official laboratory battery range of about 250 miles from its 70kWh battery pack. It will be compatible with 150kW DC charging allowing battery replenishment from 10% to 80% in half an hour.

The xDrive 50 variant, priced from £92K, will be rated at 523hp and compete the 62mph sprint in just 4.6 seconds. Its range is quoted at 373 miles due to a larger 100kWh battery pack. This allows even faster 195kW charging, achieving an 80% charge in 35 minutes despite having more battery to charge.

BMW iX interior I

The iX is built on a brand-new modular platform designed specifically for electric vehicles. BMW says the new design will be the basis of the group’s future, both in terms of electric mobility and sustainable manufacturing techniques.

The car is being heavily promoted on its safety package, BMW promising the most extensive set of driver-assistance systems ever seen on one of the brand’s cars. Existing technologies have had their capabilities extended while new systems include an interior camera and an exit warning function that alerts occupants to pedestrians or cyclists close-by before the doors are opened.

The iX also debuts an all-new operating system, which is said to make interaction between the driver and car more intuitive.

BMW will later extend the iX range with an even more powerful xDrive 60 model, offering more than 600hp. A launch date and price for this version is yet to be announced.

BMW iX side I

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.