New Model News

2022 BMW iX is the first vehicle to debut in a new generation of BMW cars

The BMW iX will arrive in the U.S. late next year.

Photo courtesy of BMW

It's what's next. The BMW iNEXT concept SUV has become the BMW iX, the first of a new generation of vehicles for the German automaker as its turns its attention toward electrification in earnest.

The iX is BMW's new technological flagship. Built on new, modular and scalable architecture, the SUV was designed from the ground up as a purely electric vehicle.

The iX is about the same size as the BMW X5 (length and width) and X6 (height). The available 20-inch, 21-inch and 22-inch wheels, meanwhile, bring to mind the BMW X7. The company says that it delivers the "sporting nature" of the X6 with the "visual impact" of the X7.

2022 BMW iX The SUV boasts X7-like looks.Photo courtesy of BMW

At its front, however, the redesigned BMW 4 Series (and it's enormous grille) come to mind. Unlike in the 4 Series, the kidney grille here is completely closed off because there is no engine that requires cooling. Instead, it serves as what BMW calls an "intelligence panel". Camera tech, radar functions, and other sensors and integrated into the grille behind the surface. Heating elements and a sensor cleaning system are also present.

On either side of the grille are the slimmest headlight units to ever be featured on a series-produced BMW. Daytime driving lights, with integrated turn signals, feature as two-dimensional strips along the upper edge of the headlight units. The iX comes standard with full-LED headlights. They sit back and are only visible when turned on.

Like the Toyota Venza, the iX features an available panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading. BMW's is one piece and is the largest glass roof ever fitted to a model in the BMW Group.

Contrasting color electric door handles fit flush into the door surfaces while doors with frameless windows make their debut in a large BMW SUV with the model. Customers looking to add more eye-catching elements to their model can add design accents in high-gloss black or in signature BMW I blue.

2022 BMW iX The car's grille is not traditionally functional, serving as an information center instead.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW powers the car using its fifth-generation eDrive technology, which has been honed by years working with models including the i3 and i8. In the new model, eDrive consists of two electric motors, power electronics, charging technology, and the high-voltage battery.

In recent years, the concern over the mining of materials for the batteries in electric cars has grown. BMW says that the materials in the eDrive technology were manufactured sustainably without the use of rare earth raw materials. In a release, the company said that the batteries, "are designed as part of a long-term resource cycle and allow for a very high recycling rate".

Though specific numbers are not yet available, BMW says that the car's powertrain will allow for around 500 horsepower allowing the iX to get from zero to 62 mph in 5.0 seconds. The SUV is expected to have around 300 miles of range in EPA testing.

WIth the new model, BMW has focused on charging, a main pain point for customers. The BMW iX enables DC fast charging up to 200 kilowatts. The battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent capacity in under 40 minutes. In just ten minutes, enough energy can be fed into the battery to increase the car's range by around 75 miles. It takes less than eleven hours to charge the high-voltage battery from 0 to 100 per cent at 11 kW Level 2 charging station.

2022 BMW iX The SUV will be able to be charged via the EVgo network.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW is partnering with EVgo to offer charging solutions. EVgo is the nation's largest public fast charging network and the first in the U.S. to be powered by 100% renewable energy. Charging will be linked to an app to ease use. Additionally, upon purchase, fully electric BMW models will receive $100 in EVgo charging credit that can be used through the BMW Charging app at EVgo and partner network stations.

Starting in December 2020, new electrified BMW model owners will be able to sign up for the BMW Charging Powered by EVgo program using the Personal Activation Code provided in a welcome email upon the purchase of their new vehicle. By downloading the BMW Charging App, users will be able to find available chargers, swipe to start their charging sessions, and access account information on their mobile phone.

The minimalistic cabin of the iX features unique colors and materials. Door pulls are integrated into a diagonal accent strip that houses the button for activating the electric door opening function. Buttons for adjusting the seat position are located on top of the front doors while memory buttons are positioned directly alongside. The passenger-side armrest incorporates a compartment for holding a mobile phone while the audio system's midrange speakers are embedded beneath the door panels' fabric trim, hidden from sight.

2022 BMW iX

Photo courtesy of BMW

The SUV features newly developed seats for the driver and front passengers with integrated head restraints. BMW will offer them with integrated speakers, a trend that started in earnest with the Nissan Kicks. The seats also feature multi-way electric adjustment as well as seat heating. Seat ventilation and massage functions are available. The seat belts are available in the buyer's choice of black or BMW i Blue.

The SUV's rear bench seat has been designed for three passengers. The two outer seats feature integral head restraints, while the center seat has a head restraint that can be folded down to improve the view to the rear. A pair of USB-C ports can be found in each of the front head restraints. The 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats can be specified with a heating function.

A slim, curved instrument panel rises toward the front of the vehicle appearing freestanding while housed in magnesium. It features a 12.3-inch driver information display and the center 14.9-inch control display to form a single unit that is angled toward the driver. A head-up display is available.

Like other models in the BMW lineup, the iX comes with an iDrive controller which forms the main control element on the center console. There, it is surrounded by a high-gloss black frame while the number of buttons surrounding it aid in vehicle functionality. A start/stop button and rocker switch (replacing a shifter) are nearby, as are two cupholders, a wireless charging tray, a 12-volt power outlet, and two USB-C ports.

The BMW iX is the first model from the BMW Group to be fitted with a hexagonal steering wheel, which affords the driver a better view of the section of the Curved Display positioned directly behind the steering wheel.

The BMW iX comes with either 2.5-zone or four-zone automatic climate controls. Nanofiber filter technology is used to purify the air inside the car. Pre-heating and pre-conditioning functions are standard.

BMW has given the SUV a standard Harman/Kardon Surround Sound System with a seven-band equalizer, eighteen speakers, 655 watts of audio power, and sound adjustment based on the car's dynamic performance level. A Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound System is available and includes a seven-band equalizer, 30 speakers, and a 1,615-watt amplifier output.

BMW will build the SUV at its Dingolfing plant beginning in the second-half of 2021. It's expected to launch in nearly 2022 in the U.S.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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