The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 previews the German automaker’s fifth-generation eDrive system offering two electric motors and up to 300 miles of driving range. The newest iX is also the torchbearer of the brand’s next-gen electric SAVs or Sports Activity Vehicles.
If you’re old enough to remember, BMW insisted on calling the X5 an “SUV” when it debuted in 1998. Whether BMW’s newest electric offering is an SAV or SUV is still up for debate, but one thing is for sure: The 2022 BMW iX is coming to the electric SUV party with more than just a clown face.
Innovative Mix-Material Architecture
Underneath that SAV body is an intelligent material mix for the chassis and underpinnings. For instance, the body shell includes carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), aluminum, high-strength steel, and thermoplastics. The side frame, roof frame, rain channels, rear window frame, and cowl panel form what BMW calls a “Carbon Cage” to reinforce the body while saving weight.
Additionally, this innovative construction method keeps the center of gravity low to deliver sporty handling, the core characteristic of any BMW. But more than just engineering trickery, the carbon fiber structure adds a visual appeal when the tailgate is open, reminding you of the space-age materials underneath.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 has a front double-wishbone and five-link rear suspension with lift-related shock absorbers (air suspension is optional) with extra hydraulic damping. BMW claims the front shocks have additional damping on the rebound cycle, while the rear dampers offer extra damping during compression. Combined with unique body-mounted spring struts with triple-path strut mounts, the latest BMW iX will keep your tailfeathers unruffled when going over rough patches of tarmac.
Fifth-Generation eDrive System
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 has two electric motors pumping out a combined 516 horsepower, pushing the SAV from zero to 60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph. It’s not the Tesla Model X killer we’ve all been waiting for, but BMW is cooking up an iX M60 version with more than 600 horsepower.
However, it’s not the power that mesmerizes. Instead, it’s the way BMW integrated the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission in a single housing, effectively increasing the power density by up to 30 percent while increasing the motor’s efficiency by 93 percent. Also, the electric motors have zero rare Earth minerals for the magnetic components, proof of BMW’s commitment to responsible and sustainable manufacturing.
The motors draw power from a high-voltage 100 kWh lithium-ion battery with 20 percent more energy density. BMW directly sources the lithium from Australia, while cobalt for the batteries is derived from sources directly before taking it to battery cell suppliers.
xDrive Electric All-Wheel Drive
With two electric motors, the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 has a fully variable electric AWD system with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and near-actuator wheel slip limitation. It may sound a mouthful, but the latter ensures corrective inputs are applied quickly between the front and rear wheels to maintain constant traction when you need it most.
Range & Charging Capacity
Based on EPA testing cycles, the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 achieves 300 miles of range on a full charge. The iX has an 11kW onboard charger that recharges its 100 kWh battery in around 11 hours when you run out of juice. If you don’t want to wait that long, the iX is compatible with DC fast-charging up to 200 kW, enough to refill the batteries to 80 percent in under 40 minutes.
Admittedly, not everyone is a huge fan of BMW’s oversized kidney grilles, but you won’t be mistaking the 2022 BMW iX for any other electric SUV. Measuring 195 inches long, 77.4 inches wide, and 66.7 inches high, the iX is no bigger than an X5 and no taller than the equally quirky X6, but it has a distinctive face all its own.
I seriously think BMW’s massive kidney grilles found a permanent home in the recently unveiled 2022 M4 Competition Convertible xDrive. But in the iX, I’m not too sure. Thankfully, those sleek headlights divert attention away from those blanked kidney grilles in the iX (the slimmest headlights ever fitted to a modern BMW). Also, things get better in the rear with those awesome LED taillights and a functional rear diffuser.
The BMW iX also has electric flush door handles and, for the first time in a large BMW, frameless windows. Standard wheels are 21-inch aero-optimized rollers, while 21-inch and 22-inch Air Performance wheels (15 percent lighter than conventional light-alloy wheels) are available.
Modern & Minimalistic Interior
The new iX xDrive50 has a posh yet minimalist interior with half the switches and buttons when compared to a traditional BMW vehicle. As usual, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and iDrive 8 infotainment on a 14.9-inch central touchscreen display; the latter angled towards the driver’s line-of-sight for effortless and intuitive operation.
All BMW iX SAVs get a panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading, turning from transparent to opaque with the push of a button. Optional features include heated/ventilated/massaging seats, a heads-up display, and a premium Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. Meanwhile, you can choose from leather, non-leather, or microfiber and wool upholstery.
2022 BMW iX xDrive50: Pricing & Availability
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 is arriving at U.S. dealerships in early 2022. Base prices start at $84,195 (including $995 destination) before federal incentives and tax credits. If you are searching for a new BMW, we trust Rydeshopper to help you find the best deal. Rydeshopper is a free and neutral third-party search site* that lets you see dealer inventory and pricing in your area.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
2022 BMW iX xDrive50 Gallery
Photos & Source: BMW of North America, LLC.
*Although always free to you, Automoblog and its partners may earn a commission when you visit this link.