SPIED: BMW iX electric SUV – production interior seen – paultan.org11/12/2020
The BMW iNEXT – rumoured to be named the iX – is set for its official debut tomorrow (November 11), and it appears that a near-production development vehicle has taken to public roads where our spy photographer has spotted the electric SUV, and even managed to capture some images of its interior.
We’ve had a look inside an earlier example of the iNEXT test mule, however that was seen equipped with a steering wheel, gear lever and instrument cluster similar to those on current internal combustion BMWs. Here though, this latest sighting of its interior reveals the polygonal two-spoke steering wheel that will go into the production iX, along with floating curved display.
The new steering wheel design features a pair of LED lights on each side of the wheel rim, and the black tape at the ten-and-two and eight-and-four positions suggest that the light strips could be even longer than is currently visible.
The unique design is said to be more suited to autonomous driving – the iNEXT is expected to feature up to Level 3 autonomus driving capabilities – enabling the driver to better recognise the angle of the steering wheel when resuming manual control of the vehicle.
Images of the iX exterior also show that a productionised version of the full-height kidney grille from the Vision iNEXT concept of 2018 appears here, albeit with room for a lower intake within the front bumper as revealed in earlier official teasers.
The iX has previously been reported to be made available in three versions, according to BMW Blog. The range has been tipped to begin with 308 hp in the base version, growing to 522 hp in the mid-range model and topping out at 610 hp in its most powerful form.
For comparison with BMW’s own internal combustion-powered models, the 40i powertrain produces 340 PS and 450 Nm of torque, while a 50i powertrain-equipped model outputs 523 hp and 750 Nm of torque. The ICE equivalent of the 610 hp version will be something like the X5 M, which makes 617 hp and 750 Nm.
The iX will be all-wheel-drive, and will be sized between the X3 and the X5, and earlier reports suggested that the fully electric SUV will have up to 580 km in battery range, likely supplied by a 100 kWh battery pack. Optional equipment on the iX could be on par with that of the 5 Series, including features such as air suspension and soft-close doors. Not long now until its official unveiling, so watch this space.
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