First Look: BMW’s next-generation EVs

BMW introduces the iX xDrive50, i4 eDrive40 and their first M performance electric vehicle the i4 M50

By Jock McCleary Wheels.ca

Jun 2, 2021 4 min. read

Article was updated 3 years ago

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BMW have solidified their presence in the electrification marketplace with the introduction of their latest fully electric vehicles the iX Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), i4 eDrive40 and the M Performance i4 M50 gran coupes.

The iX xDrive50 comes packed with technological innovations that includes BMW’s 5th generation eDrive that manages to house the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission in one unit. The iX will be driven by two electric motors, the front-mounted will produce 258 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque with the rear motor producing 335 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Both motors produce a combined power output of 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque. The motors are fed power from a high-voltage Lithium-Ion 111.5 kW battery pack that can be charged to up to 80 per cent in just over 30 minutes using a DC fast charger (200kW) and 11 hours using a single-phase level 2 charger (11kW). The fast charger will enable the iX to increase its range by over 150km in just 10 minutes with a predicted overall range of 475 km from fully charged.

The iX will come with an electric all-wheel drive that can split the torque from 100 per cent in the rear to all wheel drive to ensure all-around traction. The iX has three driving modes: Personal, Sport and efficient, each mode not only changes the settings for the drivetrain but also changes the interior display styles and ambient lighting.

i4 M50

Internally the driver will benefit from the new iDrive 8 that will further increase personalization and driver integration with the vehicle.  A new low-mounted curved screen stretches across the dash and incorporates a 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display and is covered by a frameless single-piece glass that is angled towards the driver. The new system has been designed to enhance dialogue interaction rather than using buttons and switches. A drive selection rocker switch is now mounted on the centre consul that replaces the traditional gear stick.

A plethora of safety and technical enhancements have been added that includes a nifty overhead interior camera that can be used to take selfies of the occupants or as a more practical security feature where you can link up to the car to check that nothing has been left in the vehicle when parked.

The iX is slated to arrive in Canadian dealers in the first quarter of 2022 with pre-orders being taken from June 2nd  2021. The iX has an estimated price starting at $89,990 CAD.

The i4 will be arriving around the same time as the iX but will come in two distinct flavours, the i4 edrive40 and the first M Performance fully electric vehicle the i4 M50.

The  i4 eDrive40 will come with a single 5th generation eDrive rear-mounted powerplant that puts the power down to the rear wheels only that produces 335 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The M50 will come with the same eDrive but with an additional motor a motor mounted at the front that adds to a combined output from both motors to 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque, the M50 also incorporates BMW’s electric all-wheel-drive system that can split the torque at both ends.

i4 M50

Both get their power from a 398.5 kW lithium-ion battery pack that like its sibling iX can be charged up to 80 percent in just over 30 minutes on a 200kW fast charger and will take approx. 7.6 hours to fully charge on a level 2, 11kW charger.

The new chassis design incorporates lift-related shocks, rear air suspension, integrated braking system, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and near-actuator wheel slip limitation.

The M50 gets upgraded adaptive M suspension that is made up of individually configured springs and shocks with additional spring strut tower braces added at the front end. The M50 also benefits from sport steering,  M Sport brakes and M designed light-alloy wheels. A sport boost function has also been added to the M50.

i4 M50

Both i4 models come with launch control with the M50 having a specially designed sport boost function that can be activated when the vehicle is in Sport mode that adds another 67 hp to its already hefty 536 hp, for a maximum of 10 seconds.

The driver-focused cabin of both models benefits from the same low 12.4-inch information display and the 14.9-inch control panel as the iX that is merged into one continuous single display unit that integrates BMW’s new iDrive 8.

The M50 also gets enhanced external design features that include the large signature M kidney grille as well as additional side air intakes that keep the brakes cool.

Both the i4 eDrive40 and M50 will be available as a 2022 model in early 2022 with pre-orders being taken from mid-July.

Story compiled using information provided by the manufacturer




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