BMW iX. Is it the looks or the company at fault?
The new iX I am sure will be a good car, but can they really get away with those looks?
BMW as we know has certainly chosen an interesting new design angle for their cars. Unlike many people, I do not think that the new 4 Series is too bad and the X7 in person is enormous, but not uglier than any other huge SUV. The new iX is BMWs attempt to pull people away from the Tesla fan club. As a modern and forward-thinking car, this is as good as it gets from one of the major marques. The body is made of recyclable aluminium, the batteries are made entirely with renewable energy from minerals that are fully audited. The motors use no rare-earth metals in their construction. So, Eco friendly it seems to be. For the moment costs are unknown but expect it to be around the same as an X5 with similar power outputs, so around £70K. This is also, surprise surprise, around the same as its rivals from Audi and Mercedes. Range on the WLTP cycle is claimed at 376 miles, but as with all electric cars, taking off around 10/15% for real world driving is usually more accurate. For the moment there is only one model in the line-up but expect a cheaper RWD version and a high performance, possibly even an M, in the not too distant future.
The technology as you would expect is all claimed on things that are currently illegal to do on modern roads. It is advertised as being able to have level 3 capabilities, which means the driver could take their eyes off the road for elongated periods of time without the worry of a serious crash. However, several other manufacturers have claimed this in the past and we still have not seen any real-world applications. Another reason they all seem to use the word ‘could’ rather than ‘will’.
A vibrant red to brighten some of the muted lines.
I think the car will be brilliant to drive, there is no reason to doubt it. BMW have spent a fortune developing the architecture for this and I am sure many other i models to come. Other than the very odd hexagonal steering wheel, the interior looks sensational. The curved glass display screens for the entertainment and Satnav will be as clear as day and the wooden and glass touch points make it look very luxurious.
I think the i3 and i8 were both brilliant, so I hope they continue this trend. My biggest issue with the iX in my opinion is not the car, it is with the company. BMW’s decision to follow the path of the ‘standing out’ design has not worked for them before, i3 a case example, so why do it again with something that looks so try-hard. One of BMWs great strengths I have always thought was their ability to stay strongly grounded to their routes in the design language while giving a modern take on the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. They have faulted sometimes, the 2-Series Active Tourer is best left alone, but overall, they have had much better success with the lineage than almost any other manufacturer. Many of their cars are, and have always been right at the top, so why dilute this brilliant heritage with outrageous proportions that look like an online photoshop render. Please BMW, no one has any issue with you changing your design, but at least keep it looking like you are not pandering to one demographic.