Last fall, BMW revealed a general rundown of the big new EV model, the iX, which they call a SAV, or Sports Activity Vehicle, proprietary terminology that they have officially trademarked. The model has DNA from the far-flung days of 2018, and the metallic Vision iNext that served as the company’s forward-thinking SUV during the heated days of initial major automaker EV investment.
At the time, the company detailed a fast charging time of 35 minutes to 85%, a range of 300 miles, an interior with a future-is-now autonomous look and feel, and a tech-heavy design that lays the foundation for coming assistance systems. The vehicle would use the CLAR system, unsurprisingly, as well.
The latest news on the iX is a detailed look at the model’s U.S. version, the first variant of which will be called the xDrive 50. The roughly 500-horsepower drivetrain is made up of two motors, and the fifth-gen architecture amps up the efficiency: the drivetrain design packs motor, gearbox, and electronics into a primary module. The efficiency extends to the body, too, which uses carbon fiber-reinforced plastic on an aluminum frame to keep the xDrive 50 svelte, and the abundance of recycled and sustainable materials loaded into the design.
The SAV designation plays out in the shape and lines of the car, which effectively marry SUV and crossover design styles. The available power makes it a very capable performer, and it can reach a top speed of 124 MPH, and hit 62 in under 5 seconds, good speed on both counts for an alpha family rig. Out of juice? The model can gain 75 miles’ worth in ten minutes, and BMW’s deal with electric charging station giant EVgo means more stations are available. Range, generally speaking, shouldn’t cause too much anxiety; it is estimated at over 373 miles.
At the moment, the xDrive 50’s tech indicates what’s just down the road for the company— and drivers generally. The model is the first to be outfitted with the new iDrive system, as well as so-called ‘shy tech’, discreet positioning of features which we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the next couple of years.
BMW didn’t precisely reveal pricing, beyond giving a base sticker of about mid-$80K for the xDrive 50.