Update: ‘BMW iX1 L’ section of added.
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, which recently started reaching customers in Europe.
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.
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 fitted to the base version, 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 (in the xLine and M Sport grades).
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, a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Red, 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. It is a development of the UKL platform that underpins most older BMWs and Minis.
On taking the place of the BMW i3 hatchback
Production of the BMW i3 hatch ended in June 2022 some eight and a half years after its launch, with 250,000+ units made during its lifetime. 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 places like Europe and Asia.
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.
The BMW iX1 measures 4,500 mm (177.2 in.) in length, 1,845 mm (72.6 in.) in width, and 1,616 mm (63.6 in.) in height. It has a 2,692 mm (106.0 in.) wheelbase and a 170 mm (6.7 in.) ground clearance. The pure electric compact SUV offers 490-1,495 liters (17.3-52.8 cu. ft.) of luggage space.
Power and torque
BMW only offers the iX1 in a dual-motor AWD variant called ‘xDrive30.’ The SUV gets an electric motor on both the front and the rear axles. The drive unit delivers an output of 230 kW (308 hp) with a temporary boost and 494 Nm (364 lb.-ft.) of maximum torque. Thanks to the healthy outputs, the BMW iX1 races to 62 mph in just 5.6 seconds and can hit a top speed of 112 mph.
According to Bimmerpost forum member ynguldyn, who is a reliable source for BMW scoops, an eDrive20 variant is in the pipeline, scheduled to enter production in November 2023. The SOP timeline suggests the Munich may announce the BMW iX1 eDrive20 as part of its summer updates in mid-2023. It’s obvious from the name that the variant is a FWD layout and will slot below the xDrive30. A single motor should power the front wheels.
Battery, range & charging
BMW iX1 xDrive30 uses a 64.7 kWh (usable) battery—it has a high 152 Wh/kg energy density. The total driving range is 440 km (273 miles) on the WLTP cycle. The incoming iX1 eDrive20 may get the same battery pack and deliver a WLTP range of over 500 km (311 miles).
The iX1 xDrive30 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.
As part of the Spring 2023 update, the iX1 xDrive30 has received a new mode 3 charging cable Professional. With this cable, customers can charge the iX1 with alternating current at up to 22 kW even at public charging stations. The mode 3 cable supplied previously supported AC charging at up to 11 kW. At home, it was already possible to double the normal AC charging rate to 22 kW by installing the optionally available BMW Wallbox charger for EUR 600 (USD 643) in Germany.
The DC fast-charging rate of the iX1 xDrive30 is low by 2023 standards – 130 kW. Topping up the battery pack from 10 to 80% SoC at this rate takes 29 minutes. In ten minutes, a DC charger can add 75 miles of range.
Up to 60 kW of brake energy regeneration rate is possible if 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 thermal-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. Moreover, the M suspension also adds a Sport steering that features a more direct rack ratio for precise steering.
|BMW iX1 Specifications||Value|
|Length||4,500 mm (177.2 in.)|
|Width||1,845 mm (72.6 in.)|
|Height||1,616 mm (63.6 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,692 mm (106.0 in.)|
|Ground Clearance||170 mm (6.7 in.)|
|Luggage Capacity||490-1,495 liters (17.3-52.8 cu. ft.)|
|Drivetrain layout||Dual-motor AWD|
|Total Power||230 kW (308 hp) with a temporary boost|
|Total Torque||494 Nm (364 lb.-ft.)|
|0-62 mph time||5.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||180 km/h (112 mph)|
|Battery (Net)||64.7 kWh|
|Range (WLTP)||440 km (273 miles)|
|AC Charging Power||11 kW (standard)/22 kW (optional)|
|0-100% AC Charging Time||6 hours 30 minutes (at 11 kW)/3 hours 45 minutes (at 22 kW)|
|DC Charging Power||130 kW|
|0-80% DC Charging Time||29 minutes|
|Braked Towing Capacity (12%)||1,200 kg (2645.5 lbs.)|
|Unbraked Towing Capacity||750 kg (1653.5 lbs.)|
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 of the BMW iX1 started on November 11, 2022, and it takes place in Regensburg, Germany. Beginning with the iX1, internal combustion engine vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and all-electric vehicles have started rolling off a single assembly line at the Regensburg plant. The company makes the iX1’s battery pack 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.
Initial ownership impressions
According to user WHEATERSIOW (Wheatley) of iX1Forums.co.uk who purchased the iX1 in M Sport trim, the EV has a well-damped suspension and rides very well despite its weight of around 2.1 tons. He appreciated the quiet cabin and the relaxed nature of the car while driving, though pointed out that the steering wheel lacks feedback even in the sportiest setting.
Swede365 noted five ‘surprise’ features of his BMW iX1 xDrive 30 in his YouTube video. He mentioned that the cleaning system for the rearview camera is effective and is activated when the rear window’s wipe/clean function is started.
The YouTuber likes the extra storage space under the boot floor, noting the convenience of the floor cover that stays up once opened. Swede365 also mentioned the iX1’s rear seats, all three of which can have their recline angles adjusted individually. He also liked the optional ‘Speed Camera Warning’ function of the iX1’s HUD, which displays the distance to the next speed camera while driving along a section of road that features them.
Release Date & Price
In Germany, the BMW iX1’s prices starts at EUR 55,000 (USD 59,240). The xLine variant can be had for EUR 2,700 (USD 2,908) extra while the M Sport variant can be bought by coughing up EUR 3,850 (USD 4,147) more.
There’s no plan to launch the iX1 in the U.S. market. The gas-powered third-generation X1 is available in the U.S., and prices start at USD 39,100 (excl. USD 995 destination fee).
BMW iX1 L
BMW Group plans to expand its electric line-up aggressively to achieve the goal of selling 2 million EVs by 2025. In addition to global models like the BMW iX2 and BMW i5, the company will launch market-specific models. Among them is the BMW iX1 L, a long-wheelbase version of the BMW iX1 developed especially for China, to be released in Q3 2023 (July-September 2023). Compared to the donor model, the longer body should provide more space for rear seat passengers.
BMW iX1 FAQs
What is the BMW iX1 release date?
The BMW iX1 is now on sale in the U.S. The EV is not coming to the U.S.
Which electric cars are considered BMW iX1 rivals?
The BMW iX1 rivals the Tesla Model Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Audi Q4 e-tron & the Genesis GV60
What is the BMW iX1 price?
The iX1 is priced at EUR 55,000 (USD 58,909) in Germany.
Featured Image Source: BMW