BMW has released new images of its camouflaged iX1 undergoing winter testing in Sweden, simultaneously confirming that the third-generation all-electric model will feature a range of between 413 and 438 km.
Said to be “the first fully electrically powered Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) in the premium compact segment” – quite the mouthful there… – the new iX1, teased earlier this year in March, effectively replaces BMW’s longstanding i3, production of which will draw to a close this summer after nearly a decade. The latest tests mark the culmination of “driving dynamics testing” at BMW’s winter testing facility in Arjeplog, Sweden, not just for the iX1 but also the ICE and plug-in hybrid X1 counterparts.
Focus in particular was paid to the iX1’s fifth generation BMW eDrive as the e-SAV’s charging technology in the sub-zero degree temperatures. It’s now been confirmed that the eDrive will be all-wheel drive and features twin electric motors, one powering the front axle with a second at the rear. Though a stated size of the “high-voltage battery” has not yet been provided, the 413 – 438 km estimated electric range suggests the iX1 may use the 80kWh example featured in the larger iX3.
As well as fine-tuning the powertrain and chassis, BMW was also testing the iX1’s charging technology, and while charging times have not yet been revealed, the “latest battery cell technology and intelligently controlled heat management” being tested by the Bavarian brand should “enable short charging times and a long range, even in extreme sub-zero temperatures.”
Images taken of the camouflaged iX1 undergoing winter testing showcase many of BMW’s traditional styling cues, though, as is now customary with its EVs, the kidney grilles will be blanked off and appear to be more squared-off than those presented recently on the new i7 limousine. Expect quite a bit of blue trim detailing too and some more aerodynamically-efficient wheels befitting an EV.
The iX1 is the third BMW SAV to feature an all-electric system, and sits beneath the iX3 and iX5. BMW’s new entry level electric SUV will be launched shortly after the new X1 arrives during the fall – North American dealers are expected to receive their own models early next year – and will thus go head-to-head with the likes of Mercedes’ new EQA, Volvo’s XC40 Recharge, and, potentially, a new electric SUV from Alfa Romeo.