We’re going to speculate that the reason BMW has released images of its iX a year before the vehicle comes to market is to give potential customers time to get use to the massive new grille that more closely resembles a pair of lungs than a pair of kidneys.
Based on the BMW Vision iNext concept vehicle, the iX is scheduled to go into production late in 2021, and thus technically still is in development, BMW notes, adding that the iX “is the first model based on a new, modular, scalable future toolkit developed by the BMW Group; its focus is a fresh interpretation of design, sustainability, driving pleasure, versatility and luxury.”
The iX also is electric powered by the fifth generation of BMW’s e-Drive technology and is the “first representative of a trailblazing generation of cars poised to redefine the driving experience, the feeling of interior space and the relationship between a vehicle and those on board.”
BMW says the iX “harnesses the latest innovations in the fields of electrification, automated driving and connectivity to deliver a mobility experience which has a greater focus than ever on people.”
The design emphasis was on the interior, “with a clear emphasis on quality of life and wellbeing for drivers and passengers.”
“The BMW Group is constantly striving to re-invent itself. That is a central element of our corporate strategy,” Oliver Zipse, chairman of the BMW AG board of management, is quoted in the news release that accompanied the photographs. “The BMW iX expresses this approach in an extremely concentrated form.”
The iX is scheduled to go into production in the second half of 2021 at BMW’s assembly plant in Dingolfing, Germany.
As for the vehicle’s new grille, BMW calls it “expressive” and notes that it serves a non-traditional function.
“Since the electric drive system of the BMW iX requires only a small amount of cooling air, the kidney grille is completely blanked off,” the company explains. “Its role has duly turned digital and it functions as an intelligence panel. Camera technology, radar functions and other sensors are integrated seamlessly into the grille behind a transparent surface.
“Developed and produced at the BMW Group’s lightweight design and technology centre (LuTZ) in Landshut, the kidney grille for the BMW iX presents a technologically lavish advertisement for intelligent mobility. The grille has reinvented itself as an innovative and multifunctional high-tech interface for the advanced driver assistance systems with which the BMW iX paves the way for automated driving.”