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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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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New electric pickup truck

GMC Hummer EV deliveries to start soon

Hummer EV deliveries will start in December.

GMC

This year has turned out to be as difficult for automakers as 2020 was, if not much more so. The pandemic is still a major factor, and to make matters worse there's a global microchip shortage that heavily impacts automakers' ability to build tech-heavy vehicles. GMC has a big launch left to handle in 2021, and according to a recent call with journalists, it's proceeding as planned. On a recent call with reporters, GMC exec Duncan Aldred noted that Hummer EV pickup deliveries are on track to begin in December. He also elaborated on the truck's EPA range numbers.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The trucks will deliver up to 329 miles on a charge. GMC

The Hummer's EPA range lands at 329, not far from the 350 miles General Motors targeted for the vehicle. Those are the estimates for the limited Hummer Edition 1, which carries a six-figure price tag and gobs of bells and whistles. Aldred said that other models coming later on will offer longer range estimates when they hit the roads sometime in 2023.

A staggering 80 percent of reservations GMC has gathered so far are for the Edition 1 model. Almost half of the 125,000 people who have inquired about the Hummer EV have placed the refundable $100 deposit and the SUV's first year of production is completely sold out.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV's first year of production is sold out. GMC

When it hits the streets later this year, the Hummer EV will be just in time to face off against a growing crop of EV trucks and SUVs. Rivian recently began delivering the R1T electric pickup truck and will continue with the R1S SUV next year. The Ford F-150 Lightning is coming in 2022, and General Motors itself has a Cadillac EV rollout to handle in 2022. Chevy and GMC will show off electric versions of the Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks on January 5 and GMC will push the Hummer SUV EV in 2023.

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