BMW launched its electric strategy several years ago. Initially, the idea was to create a range of autonomous models, different from the rest of the range in terms of appearance, configuration and powertrain. The i3 and i8, for example, were created with this in mind.

Then electrification accelerated, and the electric car became the only alternative, or almost the only alternative, for the mobility of the future. The Bavarian carmaker began producing battery-powered models that represented a kind of zero-emission variant on cars already familiar to the general public. The only difference? A few aesthetic details and the letter 'i' in front of the name.

The epitome of this new direction is the BMW iX1 which, as you might guess, is the electric variant of the famous X1, the brand's compact SUV and one of the best-selling models of all time.

Platform and dimensions

Based on the third series of the BMW X1, the iX1 closely follows its dimensions, with a length of 4.5 metres, a width of 1.85 metres and a height of 1.62 metres. The wheelbase is 2.69 metres. The car is built on the FAAR platform, which BMW designed with the intention of creating a multi-energy base dedicated to models equipped with a transverse engine and front-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive, with front-rear).

Le BMW iX1 est produit à l'usine de Ratisbonne

The BMW iX1 is produced at the Regensburg plant.

The platform was introduced in 2019 just by the 1 Series and represents an evolution of the UKL1 and UKL2 on which the various Minis were born and, in subsequent years, the new generations of compact BMWs (1 and 2 Series Active Tourer and Grand Tourer, X1 and X2).

  • Length: 4.50 metres
  • Width: 1.85 metres
  • Height: 1.62 metres
  • Wheelbase: 2.69 metres
  • Weight: 2,085 kg

Space on board

The BMW iX1 has sculpted, regular shapes. Thanks also to a wheelbase of almost 2.7 metres, it offers plenty of space on board. Admittedly, the fact that the BMW X1 'combustion' is also based on the same platform means that the interior is a few centimetres shorter than that of a similar-sized electric car using a platform designed exclusively for battery-powered models, but occupant comfort is guaranteed even for those sitting in the second row.

BMW iX1 2022

Compared with petrol versions, the BMW iX1 has a closed grille and blue detailing.

In terms of load capacity, the compact SUV has a capacity of 490 litres (a dozen less than its petrol sibling) which becomes 1,495 litres when the rear seats are folded down. However, there is no second compartment under the front bonnet. The so-called boot has not been created because all the ancillary items are located at the front.

Curiously, by removing the bonnet, it is possible to fit an after-market boot that fits the overall dimensions and allow the addition of an extra tray for storing charging cables or other small items.

  • Luggage compartment: 490/1,495 litres
  • Luggage compartment: n/a
BMW iX1 2022

Software

In terms of infotainment, the BMW iX1, like the rest of the range, uses the iDrive8 system, a latest-generation software package that integrates all the functions dedicated to connectivity and comfort. The interface uses a curved screen that integrates the 10.25-inch diagonal instrumentation monitor and the 10.7-inch diagonal touchscreen for infotainment and climate control.

The software can be updated remotely thanks to 'over-the-air' versions that introduce new functions and allow you to have an up-to-date system in your car. With OTA updates, BMW also fixes bugs and, on electric cars such as the iX1, optimises charging operations. No work is planned on the powertrain, at least for the time being.

BMW iX1 2022

The BMW iX1 features a large curved screen with touch-sensitive controls.

Battery and range

The BMW iX1 is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, designated eDrive20 and xDrive30 respectively. Both are equipped with a battery pack with a gross capacity of 66.5 kWh (net capacity of 64.8 kWh) that still uses the prismatic cells used by the Bavarian manufacturer throughout its zero-emission range, which will in the future be replaced by sixth-generation cylindrical cells currently being developed at the Parsdorf centre in Germany.

On the iX1 eDrive20, which adopts a 204 PS front engine, range is guaranteed up to 295 miles. On the iX1 xDrive30, with two electric motors arranged one per axle and a total output of 313 PS, the average range claimed is 273 miles, again according to the WLTP cycle and on combined journeys.

Charging

The BMW iX1 can be charged using either alternating or direct current. Equipped with an 11 kW on-board charger, it goes from 0% to 100% in 6.5 hours on AC power. On direct current, which can reach a maximum speed of 130 kW, it goes from 10% to 80% in 29 minutes.

  Power Time
AC charging 11 kW 6.5 hours (SOC 0%-100%)
DC charging 130 kW 29 minutes (SOC 10%-80%)

Prices

The 'standard' BMW iX1 eDrive20 has a starting price of £46,205, while the iX1 xDrive30 (not offered in UK) requires a budget of at least €57,000 (approx. £49,000 at the current exchange rate).

Different trim levels can be chosen for each version, including those that focus more on comfort and XLine elegance, as well as those with a traditional sports configuration with the M pack.

Gallery: 2022 BMW iX1