The BMW i Hydrogen Next concept from IAA 2019 has evolved into a production model – the BMW iX5 Hydrogen. BMW Group is showcasing the hydrogen fuel-cell (FCEV) SUV at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021).
Video Source: YouTube/Motor1 Italia
Design & Features
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is an alternative energy variant of the fourth-gen BMW X5 (BMW G05). It looks like the donor model for the most part, except the tweaks to highlight that it belongs to the BMW i model line.
At the front, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen has a sharper bumper and an exclusive mesh pattern for the BMW kidney grille and the lower air intake grille. The kidney grille has no vertical slats for a clean look, although the mesh pattern is in stark contrast. The “i” logo and the blue accents communicate the SUV’s connection with the BMW i brand. Even the bottom section of the bumper carries blue accents.
The parts covering the BMW kidney grille, the lower air intake, and the two outer air inlets, and the lower rear-end trim’s body elements come from BMW Group’s Additive Manufacturing Campus. This facility uses 3D printing to produce prototype and standard parts, and it can make even components having geometric shapes that are not possible to make with conventional production methods.
On the sides, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen gets the iX’s 22-inch Individual 1021-style aerodynamic alloy wheels, but with exclusive blue inserts in them. At the rear, the bumper has a model-specific design and features blue accents. The interior design of the iX5 is also the same as X5, and there are only minor visual differences here. There’s just a “hydrogen fuel cell” badge on the door sills and the passenger-side dashboard.
The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has two carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks that store almost 6 kg hydrogen (combined) at a pressure of 700 bar. Filling up these tanks only 3-4 minutes, so the experience is similar to refueling a gasoline/diesel BMW X5. The vehicle’s drive system converts hydrogen into electricity in a fuel cell, delivering an electrical output of 125 kW/170 hp. The drive motor, which uses the fifth-gen BMW eDrive technology like the BMW iX, generates a power output of 275 kW (374 hp).
BMW Group plans to produce the BMW iX5 Hydrogen in limited numbers and sell it in select markets, one of which should be the U.S., with availability in California.
Featured Image Source: BMW Group