BMW iX1 revealed; No U.S. launch on the cards [Update]

Update: ‘Interior’ and ‘Production’ section updated.

The BMW X1 was first introduced in 2009, and since then, the carmaker has sold 1.9 million units of its Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). Twelve years after its inception, the third-generation BMW X1 has debuted with the first-ever all-electric BMW iX1. After the BMW iX and the iX3, the iX1 becomes the latest zero-emissions SUV from the Bavarian carmaker. Here’s everything we know about the new electric model.

Design

Front

The design of the third-generation BMW X1 is sharper and more aerodynamic—the same holds true for the iX1. Upfront, the iX1 gets a closed-off kidney grille with chrome embellished vertical slats and a chrome grille surround. It gets optional adaptive LED headlamps with Matrix high beam, pulsating turn indicators, and variable light distribution. The lower portion of the bumper appears busy. It has a large air intake at the bottom, a muscular skid plate, and sharp panels towards the edges.

Side Profile

The BMW iX1 gets aero-optimized side view mirrors and alloy wheels, and flush-fitting door handles. The silhouette is similar to the outgoing X1, but the surfacing appears smooth and devoid of cuts and creases. To make the iX1 differentiate itself visually from the combustion-engined models, BMW has added blue accents to the side body cladding and front and rear bumpers. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, while 18-inch wheels come with the xLine and M Sport models. 19- and 20-inch rims are also available optionally for the first time.

Rear

At the rear, the BMW iX1 has no tailpipes. The third generation design retains the boxy rear quarter while the L-shaped LED taillamps are sharper. The compact SUV also gets a roof-integrated spoiler, raked rear windscreen, and a shark fin antenna. The lower portion of the bumper houses a skid plate for a rugged SUV stance. The iX1’s impressive drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26 is a testament to BMW engineers’ focus on making this SUV slippery.

Interior

It’s hard to believe that this interior belongs to an entry-level BMW SUV because the quality materials and layout appear as luxurious as BMW’s expensive models. According to BMW, thanks to increased dimensions and the omission of a transmission tunnel, the iX is roomier than the outgoing gas-powered model.

Standard features and ambient lighting

There’s a range of standard features on offer. The list includes a navigation system, dual-screen layout, dual-zone automatic climate control, a suite of new driver assistance systems, Park Assist, including reversing assist camera, and numerous other digital features. That said, BMW has taken many cues from the iX, especially when it comes to the geometry of the interior.

The standard lighting package includes footwells, door openers, storage compartments, headliner, and the reading lights. The optional ambient lighting package makes the cabin feel rich and lounge-like with adjustments for brightness and color scheme from the iDrive menu. This also includes a Dynamic interior light function with pulsating light signals for incoming calls and select other functions.

BMW also offers five interior trim options, including new open-pore fine eucalyptus wood trim and Aluminum Hexacube trim for the M Sport models. Music lovers are in for a treat because the iX1 comes with a standard six-speaker set-up with a 100-watt amplifier. A Harman Kardon system with 12 speakers and double the amplifier output is optional. The tweeters are positioned into the door panel and look very premium, thanks to the stainless steel cover.

Interior trim options

There’s a range of standard features on offer. The list includes the a navigation system, dual-screen layout, dual-zone automatic climate control, a suite of new driver assistance systems, Park Assist including reversing assist camera, and numerous other digital features. That said, BMW has taken many cues from the iX, especially when it comes to geometry of the interior.

Standard lighting package includes footwells, door openers, storage compartments, headliner and the reading lights. The optional ambient lighting package makes the cabin feel rich and lounge-like with adjustment for brightness and color scheme from the iDrive menu. This also includes Dynamic interior light function with pulsating light signals for incoming calls and select other functions.

BMW is also offering five interior trim options, including new open-pore fine eucalyptus wood trim and Aluminum Hexacube trim for the M Sport models. That said, music lovers are in for a treat because the iX1 comes with a standard six-speaker set-up with a 100-watt amplifier. A Harman Kardon system with 12 speakers and double the amplifier output is optional. The tweeters are positioned into the door panel and look very premium thanks to the stainless steel cover.

BMW OS 8

The BMW iX1 comes standard with the BMW Live Cockpit Plus and BMW Operating System 8. The iDrive system is integrated into dual-curved displays measuring 10.25 inches for the digital cockpit and 10.7 inches for the central infotainment screen. It is a single glass panel featuring high-definition screens. The user interface of the screens is smartphone-like to make it intuitive and easy to use.

BMW has upgraded the navigation system to make it respond faster and more accurately. The BMW Maps Navigation System now only needs a quarter of the time as before to make route calculations. It uses real-time traffic data to suggest charge-optimized routes if the range isn’t enough to reach the destination.

The upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant uses natural dialogue to interact with occupants. Customers can open windows, adjust the air conditioning, or operate the panoramic sunroof using voice commands. There’s also an overhead interior camera that the customers can use to take snapshots of special moments during a road trip.

Personal eSIM

The personal eSIM allows customers to use their smartphone’s connectivity functions from the car. Mobile reception for data and calls is enhanced using the vehicle’s 5G antenna, and up to ten devices can access the internet using the mobile hotspot. Moreover, the Personal eSIM is linked to BMW ID. Customers can utilize the functionality on other BMW vehicles with the Personal eSIM feature simply by using their BMW ID login credentials.

New seats

BMW seats are among the best in the industry and are known for their supreme comfort and excellent side bolstering. The same would be true for the iX1. Its seats have a brand new design. Customers can choose from Black, Mocha and Oyster colors for each variant. Seat heating and electric adjustment are optional, while two seat variants can be had with lumbar support and massage. Anthracite-colored cloth upholstery with Sensatec or Vernasca Leather is a no-cost option.

The M Sport package adds Sensatec or Alcantara sports seats with black and blue contrast stitching or Vernasca Leather with unique diamond quilting. The rear seat backrest is split 40:20:40 and can be folded flat to expand luggage space. Moreover, the 60:40 rear seat bench can slide forward or backward by 13 cm (5.1 inches) either separately or together. Additionally, the backrest angle can also be adjusted individually for the three seat elements at the rear.

Improved practicality and ergonomics

Thanks to the modular seats, the BMW X1’s luggage area can be expanded from 17.3 to 52.7 cu ft (490 to 1495 liters). Moreover, customers can also add an electronically deployable trailer tow hitch, with 1200 kg of provisional towing capacity for the electric BMW iX1. The iX1 or even the gas-powered X1 isn’t an SUV built for towing purposes, but customers would be happy to know that the compact SUV does have light-duty towing capability.

The BMW iX1’s front armrest has a floating effect and an integrated control panel, opening up the storage area underneath. The gear selector is entirely new and has a reduced design. Below the central air vents, there’s space for two cup holders and a smartphone tray. The tray comes with a movable clasp that can hold a smartphone upright, visible to the driver and the passenger, while it charges wirelessly.

Platform & Strategy

The third generation of the BMW X1 is underpinned by the modular FAAR (Frontantriebsarchitektur – which, when translated to English, reads as Front Wheel Drive architecture). The FAAR, a multi-energy platform, is designed to be compatible with internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric powertrains.

On taking the place of the BMW i3 hatchback

The BMW i3 hatch, which completed nine years on the market this year, has about 250,000 customers. For shoppers seeking a larger product with all-electric capability, two SUVs are available in the BMW line-up: the BMW iX3 and the BMW iX. However, the U.S. does not get the smaller SUV, as its reach is restricted to China and Europe.

In future, models such as the high-volume BMW 5 Series and the X1 as well as the BMW 7 Series will be available with four different types of drivetrain – all-electric, plug-in hybrid, petrol and diesel.

Excerpt from the BMW Group Report 2020

A BMW spokesperson has told Autocar that the production of the i3 hatch will end in July 2022. According to a report from Süddeutsche Zeitung, BMW has learned that customers want a larger electric car or a (similar-sized) model with a more attractive design. That’s where the BMW iX1 and the Mini Countryman Electric step in as the i3’s indirect successors.

Specifications

Dimensions

The third-generation BMW X1 has grown in size compared to the outgoing model. At 177.1 inches (4500 mm), it is 2 inches (53 mm) longer. Its width has increased by 0.9 inches (24 mm) to 72.6 inches (1845 mm), while its height is 64.6 inches (1642 mm), an increase of 1.7 inches (44 mm). At 106 inches (2692 mm), the wheelbase is 0.8-inch (22 mm) longer. Track width has increased by 1.2 inches (31 mm) at the front and the rear.

Power and torque

The BMW iX1 is the first all-wheel-drive BMW electric vehicle belonging to the premium compact segment. The SUV gets an electric motor on both the front and the rear axles. The drive unit delivers an output of 313 hp, including a temporary boost and 364 lb-ft of maximum torque. Thanks to the healthy amounts of power and torque, the BMW iX1 races to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds and can hit a top speed of 112 mph.

Battery and range

BMW iX1 uses a 64.7 kWh (usable) battery—it has a high 152 Wh/kg energy density. The total driving range is 272 miles on the WLTP cycle. The BMW iX7 supports 11 kW AC charging which can fully recharge the battery in 6.5 hours. Customers can optionally increase the charging rate to 22 kW, recharging the battery in 3 hours 45 minutes. 130 kW DC fast charging can juice up the battery from 10-80% in 29 minutes. In ten minutes, the DC charger can add 75 miles of range.

There’s a maximum 60 kW of brake energy regeneration rate if BMW iX1 drivers exercise one-pedal driving. A recuperation rate of 120 kW can be generated using the brakes. BMW says the torque gets distributed between the front and the rear axles thanks to a unique drive torque control system integrated into the Combined Charging Unit that works with the DSC and AWD-specific version of the near-actuator wheel slip limitation function.

Adaptive M suspension and Sport steering

Adaptive M suspension is optional on all gas-powered models of the BMW X1 and standard on the BMW iX1. The ride comfort can be altered thanks to the adjustable frequency selective dampers. Ride height can be raised or lowered by 15 mm. Moreover, the M suspension also adds a Sport steering that features a more direct rack ratio for precise steering.

BMW iX1 SpecificationsValue
Length (in.)177.1
Width (in.)72.6
Height (in.)64.6
Wheelbase (in.)106
Drivetrain layoutDual-motor AWD
Horsepower313 hp with boost
Torque364 lb-ft
0-62 mph time5.7 seconds
Top Speed112 mph
Battery64.7 kWh (usable)
Range272 miles (WLTP)
Specifications according to the BMW Group Global Press Site. The EV will not be available in the U.S.

Safety

There’s a range of advanced driver assistance systems on the BMW iX1. Standard safety equipment includes Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, Cruise Control with brake function, Speed limit info with no-overtaking indicator, Speed Limit Assist and Evasion Assist, among other features. Lane Departure Warning with Lane Return is also standard. Active Park Distance Control with Reversing Camera and Assistant is also a standard fitment.

Level 2 autonomy with optional Driving Assistant Plus

Customers can choose the Driving Assistant Plus safety package to make their BMW iX1 capable of autonomous driving. The system uses cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors around the car to monitor the surroundings. The package brings a camera- and radar-based Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Cruise Control with stop/go at up to speeds of 112 mph, and Speed Limit Assist, among other features.

The aforementioned overhead interior camera gets activated when the Remote Theft Recorder is triggered, helping the customers automatically record footage of anyone who tampers with their vehicle.

Production

BMW will manufacture the new X1 models at the BMW Group Plant in Regensburg, Germany. The iX1 xDrive30’s high voltage battery will also be made at this facility. Comprehensive upgrades have been made to the Regensburg factory. A new conveyor and assembly system to produce the battery and internal logistics have been optimized using digitalization. Meanwhile, the paint shop now uses Integrated Painting Process (IPP), which increases coating application efficiency while reducing energy consumption.

The carbon footprint for the new BMW iX1 will be stated in a validation certificate endorsed by independent auditors by the time production starts in July 2022.

BMW Group announcing the iX1 on June 1, 2022

BMW says the number of employees working in the battery component production at the Regensburg plant will rise to over 300 by the end of 2022. Between 2020 and 2022, the BMW Group has invested more than EUR 150 million in the Regensburg factory to scale up manufacturing battery components and high-voltage batteries.

Release Date and Price

BMW has stated that the X1 will be launched in the market in October 2022. Initially, two petrol and two diesel powertrains will be available across Europe. Immediately after the launch, in November 2022, the BMW iX1 will also go on sale. However, the iX1 will not be available in the United States. That’s not the case with the gas-powered third-generation BMW X1, which will go on sale in the U.S. by Q4 2022 at a starting price of USD 38,600 (MSRP).

In Germany, the BMW iX1 price starts at EUR 55,000. According to the BMW Germany price list, the xLine variant can be had for EUR 2,700 extra while the M Sport variant can be bought by coughing up EUR 3,850 more. By 2030, BMW Group aims to sell more than 1.5 million EVs annually, and the entry-level iX1 is a strategic launch towards that goal. For the mid-term, it has set a goal of delivering two million EVs to customers by 2025.

BMW iX1 FAQs

What is the BMW iX1 release date?

BMW iX1 was revealed on June 1, 2022 and will be available for customers from November 2022 in Europe.

Which electric cars are considered BMW iX1 rivals?

The BMW iX1 rivals the Tesla Model Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and the Mercedes EQB.

What is the BMW iX1 price?

The iX1 is priced at EUR 55,000 in Germany.

Featured Image Source: BMW