First ever BMW iX releasing in New Zealand in late 2021

The first ever BMW iX will release in New Zealand in late 2021.
Photo credit: BMW

The first BMW iX model will be released in New Zealand before the end of the year, the German car manufacturer has announced.

The fully electric vehicle is said to produce a total output of more than 370kW, enabling acceleration of 0 - 100km/h in less than five seconds in its xDrive50 variant.

In terms of battery capacity, BMW says the iX promises a gross energy content of more than 100kWh, meaning its maximum range was more than 600km during testing at the company with the xDrive50 variant, and 400km with the xDrive40 variant.

New DC fast charging technology of up to 200kW is said to give more than 120km of drive time from just a 10 minute charge, while charging from 10 percent capacity up to 80 percent could be achieved in 40 minutes.

The iX will be the first model to feature the latest iDrive system including BMW Operating System 8.

BMW's Head of Project iX Johann Kistler says the model boasts the acceleration of a motorcycle along with plenty of roominess inside and the feel of "a true BMW" rather than a "mainstream car".

BMW iX dash view.
Photo credit: BMW
BMW driver screen view.
Photo credit: BMW

The iX is being developed with an "all-encompassing approach to sustainability", BMW says, starting with suppliers of the vehicle's components. This means sourcing the cobalt and lithium needed for batteries from controlled sources in Australia and Morocco, along with procuring aluminium manufactured using electricity from solar energy plants.

Recovered fishing nets are among the raw materials used for the vehicle's floor coverings, BMW says.

Kistler told Newshub sourcing sustainable raw materials is "just the beginning" and environmentally friendly techniques are used throughout the iX's production process.

"We produce the electrical engine and the battery at our plant in Dingolfing. I think 3km out of the plant we have a brand new manufacturing area, which gives us the possibility to produce the vehicles at a near distance, and we don't have to drive the parts all over Germany," he said.

The BMW iX50 will launch in New Zealand in Q4, 2021.
Photo credit: BMW

"And in all our plants we have green energy. Our goal is to produce the greenest car, not only in terms of consumption and emissions, but also all the way through production."

Kistler said sustainably manufacturing electric vehicles is more expensive than traditional methods, but BMW is committed for the sake of "the next generations".

"At the moment, production costs are higher for electrical cars. But nevertheless, we have to do it in a green way from the supply chain through the production and through to the car itself. That's our understanding."

BMW says both the iX xDrive40 and iX xDrive50 variants will launch in New Zealand in the fourth quarter of this year, with prices to be announced later.