The first ever BMW-badged EV in the compact segment is the brand new iX1 (serving as a future replacement for the subcompact i3), the BEV version of the third-generation X1 small SUV. Called the BMW iX1 xDrive 30, it features two electric motors that can deliver up to 313 horsepower and 364 pound-feet (494 Nm) of torque, with its range rated at 257 - 272 miles (413 - 438 km).
It accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds and at the top end it’s pegged back at 112 mph (180 km/h). The iX1's battery capacity is 66.5 kWh gross, so the usable capacity will be slightly lower. BMW does say that these numbers may be subject to change before the vehicle enters production towards the end of the year, and the number was not mentioned in the press release, just in the presentation video.
Charging the iX1 via an AC charger can be done at up to 22 kW, while DC fast charging won't go any higher than 127 kW.
In terms of its design, the new iX1 (and the X1 it’s based on) feature BMW’s very latest design language, with headlights that swoop around the corners of the front fascia very strongly, while from the side it looks quite upright, pulling off the mini-SUV look quite well. From the rear what strikes you are the very bold blade-style rear light clusters that give the vehicle a very wide stance and lots of presence.
Gallery: 2022 BMW iX1
Inside it looks virtually identical to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, which is the first model from the Bavarian automaker not to feature a physical control for the infotainment. It therefore has the same twin curved screen display setup, floating central armrest and standard sports steering wheel, although it does look like the X1 gets the good head-up display that projects onto the windscreen.
You will be able to tell the iX1 apart from other models that still burn fuel by the now familiar blue trim that BMW puts on all its EVs and the wheels are also unique to the electric variant. The charging port is where the gas cap is on ICE models, so if you see one with a small door on the front left side of the vehicle, then you will know that it is a plug-in hybrid, not the EV.
BMW hasn’t shared a lot right now about the iX1, so definitive specs and pricing information will be revealed at a later date. And even though it looks exactly like the type of vehicle that would do well in America (being a small, electric or electrified crossover with a premium badge), the chances of seeing it cross the Atlantic are reportedly slim.