BMW was one of the pioneers of the electric car with the BMW i3, the first large series car with a entirely carbon structure.His style was debated at the time, but I always liked.It must be said that I have a weakness for cars that do not look like the classic automobile.BMW arrives in 2021 with the IX, a divisive product but which, according to it, shows the expertise of the brand in the premium electric.BMW therefore offers us its 3rd product 100% BMWI and seems to redo the i3 with a sharp and differentiating style.Let's go see that!

Let's discover the BMW IX together

Have in mind that it is a big baby, which allows you to store the big battery of 111.5kwh raw (105.2kwh in use) (14cm thick), the five passengers and their luggage in first order comfort.For this BMW designers have married the specifics of the 3 thermal SUVs of the brand in an electric SUV.Namely, the size (length and width) of an X5, the height of an X6 and the rim size of an X7.This gives a fairly stocky and massive appearance to this SUV.

At the front, BMW has decided to do a lot of work to ensure that his vehicle has as much personality as possible.They did not go there dead hand.The grille is there and is seen.For my part it does not bother me that much.We recognize her at first glance and we talk about her.In an explosion electric car market, you have to stand out.Having a differentiating product is often very appreciated especially in premium.And then, at the wheel you will not see his grille.On the other hand, people in front of you will see it and will move very quickly to the right if you arrive in their mirrors.

In addition, this grille is used by BMW to place all the sensors discreetly.Don't worry, even in bad weather, the grille is heated.Finally, it inaugurates a polyurethane surface which is repaired on its own if it ever comes to be striped!

Regarding its profile, we immediately recognize a certain parentage with the brand's first 100% electric model, the i3.This rear amount which disappears with the IX logo on a shiny black background recalls the rear window of the city car.The rims on our model are 22 inches, a little like the big rims of the i3.These are pretty pretty and keep a futuristic appearance, perfect for the car.

There are very few asperities on the vehicle, which allows it to have a fairly stunning CX of 0.25 for the apparent brick that is the IX.

The rear is the most successful part of the vehicle.It is beautiful, massive and very modern with its very well worked optics.The latter are the finest ever applied on a BMW.Below, no exhaust pot but a massive diffuser which gives it a very sporty appearance.

Let's go inside.

Particular care was taken, it was even developed first.It looks like everything except a modern BMW, a few exceptions.

Our model sports the interior called "Castanea suite": ocher leather, very pretty and modern.Its seats are incredibly comfortable.Lateral maintenance is not at the level of a classic BMW but it is not fundamental given the philosophy of the car.They are there to be comfortable and magnify the cabin.So it's successful.We are not on a sports car but on an ideal car to make the road and for the pleasure of strolling.

BMW upsets all of its codes.Instrumentation changes.It goes from two very distinct slabs to a double curved slab of 12.3 and 14.9 inches.The dashboard, under this double screen, is lower than usual but it is not very disturbing.The steering wheel also evolves: finished the round steering wheel and the 3 usual branches of the Munich brand.It becomes hexagonal with 2 branches, a steering wheel which is reminiscent of that of the i3.

Between the seats, the elbow rest is extended with an idrive, unchanged.Only a sublime wooden covering welcomes this glass wheel.On the left, there is no longer a gear lever, the selector is much more discreet.At the front of this platform, a mobile phone base is available - very good idea.I would have liked the induction load to be placed there as at Tesla.It is below with 2 USB-C ports.

If we continue with the upheaval of classic BMW codes, the seats adjustment is found on the doors as in the German cousin Mercedes.

Finally, BMW inaugurates what they call "shy-tech", in other words: discreet technology.For example, the wooden platform that welcomes IDRIVE is not only a beautiful room but also acts as sensitive buttons.The walls of the dashboard and the armrests are now heated.A good way to save energy by strongly heating the cabin.Skillful for an electric car.

The pimples disappear but I find that it reduces one of the forces of BMW, the ergonomics.An essential function, air conditioning, is relegated to the central screen.I like to be able to change the temperature quickly, activate heated or ventilated seats at a single pressing on a button.Unfortunately with this new interface, I waste time and it bothers me.

Un autre exemple de cette technologie discrète se retrouve dans la sonorisation Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Sound (4 850€).An expensive option but which allows you to have a sound experience that I have rarely had in a car.No less than 30 speakers are scattered in the cabin, half of which is invisible-as for example in the headrest of the front and rear seats!There are even vibrators in the seats that will activate according to your desire to immerse you in music.In total, the IX has 1,615 watts of power.

At the back, the floor is flat and the habitability is very good.If you look up you will find a huge 1.1m² glass roof that can opt for on request (€ 3,350).

Finally, the trunk is rather small, for the category, with 500 liters.I would have liked to have a trunk at the front of the vehicle as at Tesla.But the hood remains sealed.Impossible to open it, even to store the cables as on the i3.Shame…

Let's go on the road

We had the trial the most powerful version available on the French market at a time when I write these lines, the BMW IX XDRIVE50.This version has two electric motors, one on each axle, from 200kw (272hp) to the front and 250kW (340hp) at the rear.In total, not 612hp but 523hp.Yes it's weird but there is a clamping.Do not ask me why ... The cumulative couple is quite impressive with 765nm.Yes, you can take off a house with your IX.

The main asset of an electric motor is to swallow the first 100 km/h in less time than it takes to read this sentence.The IX XDRIVE50 is one of these models with a 0 to 100km/h in 4.6s.Despite its 2.5 tonnes, this model therefore announces very good figures, let's see if it is the same once while driving.

Do you arrive next to your car but you forgot your keys to you?No problem, you have your smartphone in your bag or your pocket.The car has a world premiere of a system based on UWB (Ultra Wide Band) WiFi and Bluetooth waves that will unlock your car just approaching it.A functionality implemented in association with Apple which is currently the only phone manufacturer to allow this functionality.

In town first, you will be surprised by its agility.The 4 wheels are directors and allow you to sneak very easily despite this giant template.This is the first time that I have this impression at the wheel of a car with this feature.She moves like a snake when I turn the steering wheel.Deconal but so effective!

Comfort is, as I told you a little higher, royal.The car has pneumatic suspensions which allow it to free itself without worry of the gaping holes of the Parisian Chaussé.TMAX are nonexistent both by the lolted soundproofing and by the dantesque acceleration of this car.

You take the highway to travel because this car is an incentive to travel as it is comfortable and pleasant to handle. Le massage prodigué par votre siège conducteur vous détendra pendant que vous écouterez vos musiques préférées enveloppé(e) du son cristallin des haut-parleurs Bowers & Wilkins.After the 350km of autonomy on the highway that the car offers you, even in winter, you will have the possibility of recharging on the ionity terminals of which BMW is partner.

A partnership that will allow you to recharge your car in 35 min from 10 to 80% or 150km in 10 minutes, thanks to a recharge of up to 200kwh in peak.BMW offers its customers the first year the Ionity Plus recharge (value of € 156) which allows you to pay the minute 0.30 €.A 35 -minute recharge will come back to you at € 10.50.A fairly interesting price if we compare it to an equivalent X5 40D which consumes on a highway at 130km/h 5.5 liters per 100km.Which comes up at a price of € 26.40 for 300km.

You hit the road and let the level 2 autonomous driving of your BMW IX which is one of the most advanced on the market.The car changes its way as a result of an action on your part on the flashing comodo.The car will check thanks to its dozens of sensors if the maneuver is possible.Ghost braking point or hazardous intervention of the car as in Tesla.

Do you get out of the highway and think you can have fun on the secondary network?Unfortunately, the 2.5 tonnes of the car remember you quickly.The car is heavy.It really feels.Even if the braking is good, thank you mode B which will come to slow down the car by turning the electric motors in the other direction, you will have an impression of weight when you go to raise your rhythm in sequences of turns.The car takes roll while remaining healthy, thanks to its low gravity center due to batteries in the floor.Management lacks a lot of information, but it is not disturbing on a car that wants to be comfortable.Maintaining seats is not the best of the brand.They don't keep you enough to please you as in a real BMW.Shame…

This weight is however well contained with the adoption of PFC (reinforced carbon plastic) on the entire structure of the car as the i3.There are also aluminum all over the body panels.Despite everything, the weight remains high for one reason: the capacity of the auto battery.With 111.5 kWh of battery (105.2 useful) it is one of the largest capacities on the world automotive market for a passenger car.

Given its size and weight, this car still has a fairly impressive agility.But it's not a sports car.

Do you want to double cyclists who take the whole road?No worries, you can erase them with a simple pressure on the right pedal and presto, in no time they are overwhelmed in complete safety for them and for you.Thank you the approval of the electric motor.

Are you arriving at your destination and the entrance to your country house is a bit delicate?The cameras and all vision assistance are there to help you do not damage your car.If you ever tell yourself that this time you were lucky but that for the next time you are afraid, no problem, BMW has thought of you.During the next update, the car will be able to record the last 10 maneuvers and the last 500 meters, to redo them identically.A capacity that will be a world premiere.Thank you to the calculation power available in this vehicle, the most geeks of you will appreciate.

In terms of consumption on a journey equivalent to mine during the test, you will tickle the 26kwh/100km.We must take into account a fairly low temperature and rain during our test.Over a summer period, we would have easily consumed 4-5 kWh less on average.Which is rather a good figure contained in the template of the car.

You can finally connect to a terminal up to 11kw in AC when you arrive and you will have a recharge which will last at most 10 hours.

On the price side, this BMW IX hits the top of the basket, it's high -end.The finish is very advanced, the materials are of first quality and you have the best technologies available today on the market.It is paid.The BMW IX starts at € 86,250 for the XDRIVE40 version and € 103,500 for the XDRIVE50 version that I was able to try.The latter was any option and culminated at € 131,855.

Is it more expensive than an X5 40D equivalent in terms of dimension and with not ridiculous performance?It's a little more expensive.For an X5 40D all options, it takes € 123,450 but you will not have all IX technologies.Are you going to talk to me about Tesla's model X?I would answer you that here we are not on a smartphone with wheels but on a real car with a faultless finish.

You will understand, it is not a sportswoman but rather a new way of apprehending the German brand.Comfort is king, the reputation of a tap-cul car is erased.The pleasure in turns is less present, you will no longer have this pleasure of driving dynamically.But you will have another pleasure, that of traveling long distances in a very soothing comfort and atmosphere.More underlying firmness, no excessive pumping.You feel like you are in an English car and not just any, the Range Rover.

It is on this point that I want to insist.In a comfortable car, it is really not disturbing to have no engine noise on the contrary.You enjoy this calm and it's really nice.In that, the BMW IX is a great car.

If you want a large electric car with enough autonomy to make the road with agility in town, clad with reliable and discreet technology then the IX is made for you.Finally that you have the budget to buy this BMW IX, go for it.You will not regret it.In my eyes, BMW reiterates its master stroke that was the i3 with a more mature and attractive car.

Thanks to BMW France for the invitation.

Photo credit: Ugo Missana