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New BMW has classic grille - but for sensors, not airflow

The Detroit News

Frankfurt, Germany – German luxury automaker BMW on Wednesday gave an early look at a new battery-driven SUV that illustrates the company’s future plans for electric-powered driving.

The iX, previously shown as a concept car under the name iNext, is the company’s first vehicle on a new modular toolkit, or technological and mechanical basis that can be used for different vehicles. The toolkit brings with it increased computing capacity to process data from vehicle sensors.

This handout photo provide by BMW carmaker on Nov. 11, 2020 shows the new electric car of the company. the BMW iX.

The iX is a long, sleek vehicle a large twin kidney-shaped grille typical of BMW vehicles, and a minimalist interior that uses a curved touchscreen. BMW calls it an SAV, sports-activity vehicle, instead of a sport-utility vehicle.

The iX, previously shown as a concept car under the name iNext, is the company's first vehicle on a new modular toolkit, or technological and mechanical basis that can be used for different vehicles. The toolkit brings with it increased computing capacity to process data from vehicle sensors.
Almost rectangular contours around the wheel arches contribute to the iX's imposing body design.

Since the car is battery-driven and needs only minimal air for cooling, the front grille is solid and houses cameras and sensors behind a transparent surface.

The company says the iX will get 600 kilometers on a full charge under the European standard and more than 300 miles under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s FTP-75 standard, although the company cautions that the ranges are predicted values based on the vehicle’s current stage of development.

The iX's displays and controls are all stripped down to the essentials, further reinforcing the impression of an uncluttered cabin.
BMW's new electric iX's center console is crafted to look like a high-quality piece of furniture.

The vehicle’s design is more restrained than an earlier concept version and the car could still undergo changes as it “is still in its series production development phase,” BMW AG said in a news release.

The iX will be produced at the company’s plant in Dingolfing, Germany, from the middle of next year and reach customers at the end of 2021.