BMW offers the top of the range iX in Brazil

BMW offers the top of the range iX in Brazil

When, last January, BMW started the pre-sales process of its electric iX in Brazil, the 30 units offered were sold in 12 hours. So, people went on faith: they didn’t have much information beyond the picture, but they bought anyway, giving R$ 50,000 for storage.

It was a success before he started his career. And now we know what they will get for it.


The most important thing is inside

Officially presented to the Brazilian public yesterday, the BMW iX is not the most expensive electric car in Brazil, nor the most expensive BMW. Audi’s e-Tron line costs more than Brazil’s BMW, internal combustion cars like the luxury X7 and the performance sports M3 are in the range above.

Luxury has something subjective, of course. But the novelty, the quality, the many functions, deserve to be called the most luxurious electric car in the Brazilian business – in what the communication manager of BMW João Veloso, who was present at the launch, believes, and what the evidence seems to confirm.

The price is BRL 654,950 or BRL 799,950. The difference is between the XDrive 40 and XDrive 50 versions, which differ in motorization and battery.

On the outside, there is a full-size SUV, but not over-sized, moderately aggressive lines, and a visible plastic grille, not ashamed of the electrics, like others from the brand.

BMW iX released in Brazil (Image: Disclosure)

The biggest effect is when opening the door. The luxury is evident at first glance, with its olive-oiled leather seats, and details in aluminum, wood and carbon fiber, a continuous wide tablet, which brings the traditional dashboard and car interface.

BMW iX interior
Interior view of BMW iX (Photo: Handout)

Difference between BMW iX 40 vs 50

The BMW iX 40 has a battery of 76.6 kWh, unlike 111.5 kWh in the 50. This gives, respectively, 425 km or 630 km of predicted range.

BMW supplies a BMW Essentials 22 kWh Wallbox charger with the car, although the car is 11 kWh AC, which means about 7 to 11 hours of full charge, depending on the version. It also has a kit for charging in several options, which you can pull from a common socket, at 1.8 kWh, which is enough for the daily costs of the city.

The IX, in any version, is powered by two rotating induction motors, one in the front, one in the back. That means they don’t use permanent magnets, which lead to less maintenance – in the presentation, BMW technicians compared it to industrial electric motors, which can last for decades without needing maintenance.

xDrive 40 produces 360hp, 630Nm of torque. xDrive 50, 523 hp and 765 Nm. This provides a 0-100 km/h acceleration of 6.1 seconds and 4.6 seconds. The maximum of both is limited to 200 km / h.

magic control

One of the odd things about the interior is how the interface works. BMW says the iX has “embarrassing technology”, technology that only appears when requested. And even though the steering wheel still has a large number of buttons, the way it’s made to drive is a lot of fun.

The middle panel has a control wheel, in the style of the old iPod, which makes using the interface more intuitive (if learning is required).

BMW iX center console
BMW iX main panel with control wheel (Photo: Handout)

Usually, there is an audio interface. But it has to be taught to everyone, as in all interactions of this kind, and it is impossible for someone like me, in an experiment, to come and talk. It also stores all user settings in the cloud, such as seat preferences (including massage!), mirror and climate.

But the cheapest thing is the gesture interface. One of the car’s internal cameras (and the BMW iX can take pictures of passengers, like on a roller coaster) detects gestures made in front of the dashboard.

BMW iX roof panel
BMW iX roof panel (Photo: Handout)

With this, it is possible to do things like change the radio station, increase or decrease the volume, and even open the settings, which can be customized, making it like a magic gesture.

Hollywood Sound

The part that most shakes anyone in the BMW iX is the sound system. It consists of boxes scattered around the car, some of them invisible, inside the seats, giving an incredible quality. You are literally shaking in the seat. It’s a movie experience.

So, for the movie, in fact, the composer Hans Zimmer was asked to compose a classic score to serve not only as a show, but to add a touch of surprise to the experience.

Brazil GPS

Perhaps what the competition can strive more to achieve in the BMW iX (eventually shared by other brands) is a possible solution to the major inconvenience for the Brazilian driver. No matter how expensive the car is here, a standard GPS turns out to be… less than satisfactory. It is a party of not finding an address and ordering the driver to go the wrong way. Everyone ends up choosing a mobile phone.

BMW then decided, in collaboration with Brazilian companies, to create its own map, covering 40,000 kilometers across Brazil, including in the most remote and inhospitable areas.

And this map will be updated in real time via the cloud, first on 4G, but eventually on 5G, to finally create a reliable factory GPS – and, BMW hopes, can be adopted by the driver instead of Waze or GMaps.

The idea is that, eventually, this map will be used for self-driving cars around here. But it already has the ability to, for example, identify lanes on the road even if it is far away.

In addition to this function, the BMW GPS has a unique luxury: it predicts the next turn, showing a video feed of the road in augmented reality, instead of just remaining on the map. GPS also allows playback of routes already taken, including videos.

A front that “adjusts itself”

BMW iX front grille
The plastic faceplate of the BMW iX may have faint scratches (Image: BMW/Handout)

The front “grid” is a large plate, as if proud of plastic, showing its electrical nature. Air inlets, present because the battery needs cooling, are located on the lower skirt.

This grille hides the car’s sensor system, and it has a special feature: small scratches on it can be fixed easily by the owner himself, using heat.

Self-healing plastic was tested in front of us with a screwdriver and made visible (but not deep) scratches. The technician removed these scratches with a regular fan. It’s not like the whole car is scratch-proof or the grille will resist leaning against a wall, but it’s still interesting.

Sorry Brazil, no BMW iX multicolor at the moment

BMW says first deliveries of the iX are expected to begin in March already. They expect to sell an initial batch of 400 cars this year in Brazil. This equates to half of the electric cars sold by the brand, which also expects to reach 25% of its electric sales this year.

There is still nothing official, or any proposal, for the arrival of the top of the line, xDrive 60. But, according to the conversations of BMW executives, who spoke of the Brazilian public’s preference for luxury (x50 is more expensive. , but sold 70%) , expectation is hope.

About what everyone asked: BMW showed this year, in the iX, a system that allows the color of the car to be adjusted by the driver. This is not available on commercially available models, and may take some time. According to the company’s management, the problem is that Brazilian law requires the color defined in the document. It wouldn’t even be legal to carry one of these today.

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