BMW iX1 (BMW X1 electric) to take on compact electric SUVs from 2022

On 27 July 2020, BMW Group confirmed that a BMW X1 electric (codename: BMW U11) will be one of its many future BEV launches. Now, a new report from autoexpress.co.uk talks about the details of the first-ever BMW iX1.

Design

The BMW iX1 will arrive as a derivative of the third-gen BMW X1, which will celebrate its world premiere in late 2021. Testing of the ICE variant with production body panels began this year, and spy media has given a fair idea of what to expect in terms of design.

The second-gen model’s biggest improvement visually was the adoption of a proper SUV design. The third-gen model will look even more SUV-like, as per the British report. Mainly a flatter beltline and more upright back glass will help it portray these changes. The all-new model will feature more aggressive headlights but thankfully not the controversial new signature design element of unusually large, vertical kidney grille.

Spy pictures of camouflaged prototypes suggest that the 2022 BMW X1 will have new headlamps that stretch towards the sides and but give no signs of deep cuts or creases. At the rear, the lamps would follow the ‘L’ shape and there will be a large spoiler with the stoplight. The rear window will be of small size and we don’t expect any major improvements in rear visibility.

Seeing the relationship between the Mk3 BMW X3 and the BMW iX3, we suspect a nearly identical design for the BMW X1 electric, with the most noticeable changes including elements like closed-off grilles, exclusive wheels in a fancier, more aerodynamic design, and blue accents on the bumpers, rocker panels, grille, etc.

BMW iX1 specifications

The BMW iX3 has a standard 80 kWh battery pack that allows a range of up to 460 km in the new stringent test cycle WLTP (or up 520 km in the NEDC test cycle). The BMW iX1, constrained by its smaller dimensions and possibly for a lower retail price, will use a lower capacity battery pack. According to an old report from automobilemag.com, we can look forward to not one but two lower capacity battery packs: 38 kWh and 78 kWh.

The standard range and extended range variants of the BMW X1 electric could have different output figures. The new report suggests that we will see the BMW iX3’s 210 kW (286 PS) electric motor in the BMW iX1 one way or the other. There’s no word on the BMW iX1 range at the moment.

Production

European automakers are turning to China for manufacturing their compact electric vehicles at a lower cost and benefiting from higher Chinese sales at the same time. Volvo Car Group did it for the Polestar 2 recently. Seeing that trend, along with the fact that even the mid-size BMW iX3 is going to a BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) plant (Dadong) and the tremendous sales potential for compact electric SUVs in China, we suspect the BMW iX1 would roll out of the new Tiexi plant. The construction of the new Tiexi plant, also a BBA facility, began on 1 April 2020.

BMW iX1 release date

The BMW Group will likely launch the BMW iX1 globally in 2022, a few months after presenting it online and to the media. The company hasn’t disclosed the release date of neither the next-gen BMW X1 nor the BMW iX1 yet.

Competitors

The BMW iX1 will compete with the likes of Audi Q4 e-tron and Mercedes EQB. These compact electric SUVs are likely to debut in 2021 and go on sale a little earlier.

Goal of 7 million electrified BMWs

BMW Group has confirmed that in addition to a BMW X1 electric, a BMW 5 Series electric is also in the development. In the future, customers will have four variants in the BMW X1 and BMW 5 Series lines: diesel and petrol with 48-volt mild-hybrid electric system, plug-in hybrid electric and pure electric.

The long-term goal of BMW Group is to sell more than 7 million electrified vehicles in 10 years, with around 66 percent of the electrified vehicle sales coming from pure electric vehicles. The company’s line-up will include 25 electrified models by 2023, and half of them will be fully electric. The German automaker is working on hydrogen fuel cell technology as well, with the belief that it will be the ultimate one for protecting our climate.

Recall the Zinoro 1E from the BMW-Brilliance joint venture?

Video courtesy: Technologic Vehicles Youtube Channel

BMW Group, through its Chinese joint venture in 2015, introduced the Zinoro 1E based on the first generation BMW X1. Powered by a 125 kW electric motor that produced a peak torque of 250 Nm, the Zinoro 1E had three battery packs mounted under the hood, centre and the gasoline tank. The makeshift EV which came before the BMW i3 was good enough for a range of 150 kilometers. The vehicle was not sold in large numbers, just leased to Chinese customers who got a taste of premium electric mobility and can pride themselves for having driven the first ‘official’ BMW electric crossover.

[Source: Automobilemag.com]