The BMW iX (codename: BMW i20), the first dedicated pure electric SUV from BMW, utilizes a brand-new aluminum spaceframe architecture. A new report from bmwblog.com says that BMW Group doesn’t plan to build a second BMW electric car on this base.
Automakers Hyundai Motor Group (E-GMP), Volkswagen Group (MEB), Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (CMF-EV) and Stellantis (e-CMP) are building multiple models across brands on a single platform to make the most of the R&D investments and manufacture electric models cost-effectively through the power of scale. However, BMW Group plans to reserve its most technologically advanced platform to its latest halo product – the BMW iX. The previous pioneering EV from the BMW brand – the BMW i3 (2013), similarly, is the only model ever built on its bespoke platform.
BMW Group is working on yet another new architecture that will offer the flexibility of using it for ICE models and pure electric models, as per a report from auto-motor-und-sport.de. This architecture, focused more on pure electric models, will be ready in 2025. Rival German conglomerate Daimler is similarly working on a new EV-focused architecture on which it can build ICE models as well. Called MMA (Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture), this architecture that is integrated backwards starting with EVs will also be ready for commercialization in 2025.
Like in the i3, the BMW product developers used carbon-fiber in the structure of the BMW iX to keep its weight low. The side frame, rain channels, roof frame and rear window consist of this expensive lightweight material and together form what the company calls a ‘Carbon Cage’. Basically, there’s a lot of high-tech stuff in the chassis of the BMW iX that, though technically possible to get carried over, could be unfeasible in other product segments due to high costs.
What comes after the BMW iX?
BMW Group has confirmed that it will have at least 13 EVs in its line-up across brands by 2023 and that the future EV launches will include a BMW iX1 (BMW X1 electric), a BMW i5 (BMW 5 Series electric) and a BMW i7 (BMW 7 Series electric). The company plans to start manufacturing the BMW iX, in Dingolfing (Germany), from the second half of 2021. Expect BMW iX deliveries in the US to begin in early 2022.