We already know a fair bit about the BMW iX, due to arrive sometime this summer in xDrive 40 and xDrive 50 configurations. But the German automaker has announced an even more powerful model, the BMW iX M60, at CES 2022.
BMW’s ‘M’ Series spun out of the automaker’s racing ambitions, and the focus is all about performance — while maintaining the luxury feel that sends people to BMW. The BMW iX M60 packs in 610 horsepower, and like the BMW i4 M50 before it, is going to be 100% electric.
BMW iX M60: Price and release date
The BMW iX M60 is set to arrive in June, with a starting price of $106,095. That’s significantly more than the xDrive 50 model, which is confirmed to start at $83,200 when it launches later this year.
BMW iX M60: Design and interior
From the outside the iX M60 isn’t that much different to the xDrive 40 or xDrive 50. The car is made up of an aluminum frame, carbon cage and carbon fiber reinforcements in the roof, side and rear. It’s also available with 22-inch wheels, and in a variety of exclusive colors, which the xDrive models are not.
Inside the car is a surround sound system powered by Bowers & Wilkins, a panoramic ‘Sky Lounge’ LED roof and privacy glass. If the xDrive iX models are anything to go by, the interior is also likely to come in either leather, faux leather or microfiber cloth.
BMW iX M60: Power and performance
BMW’s M series is all about performance, and it’s no surprise that the iX M60 is set to deliver some pretty impressive power under the hood. The car has 610 horsepower to tap into, significantly higher than the i4 M50’s 544hp, and up to 811 ft-lbs of torque.
All that will send you from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, which isn’t bad going for a vehicle that weighs almost three and a half tons. For reference the iX xDrive 50 takes 5 seconds to reach the same speed, and the xDrive 40 takes 6. However, the i4 M50 takes 3.7 seconds to hit that speed, which is only fractionally slower.
In terms of top speed, you’re looking at 155 mph, which is significantly faster than the i4 M50’s 124 mph. So if you ever find yourself on a German autobahn, or a track, you can get some serious speed up.
BMW also has current-energized motors in the iX M60, which means rotational speed is based on how much electricity has been applied rather than turning the wheels with a magnetic field. According to the automaker, this improves power density and peak power output, while also removing rare earth metals from the equation.
BMW iX M60: Range and charging
The BMW iX M60 has a 111.5 kWh battery pack, of which 106 kWh is usable. That translates to 280 miles of range with 21-inch wheels. That’s slightly less than the 300 miles BMW says the xDrive 50 offers, though a drop in range is not unexpected in a performance-centric car like this.
Charging is available at speeds up to 195 kW, which will go from 0-80 percent in just 35 minutes. AC charging tops out at 11 kW, and a full charge will take you 10.5 hours. The battery’s size means you’re going to want to get a faster AC charger installed at home.
A standard 7.4 kW charger takes 16 hours to fully charge, while the slower 3.7 kW speeds take an insane 33 hours. Though it is worth pointing out that charging beyond 80% takes a lot longer, and it’s better for long-term battery health to avoid doing that whenever possible.
BMW iX M60: Technology and features
BMW hasn’t said a great deal about the technology in the iX M60, but we can expect it to come with some of the automaker’s top-tier equipment for you to use mid-drive.
Common features like heated seats and a wireless charging pad are confirmed. BMW also says that the car will come with 5G connectivity, adaptive LED headlights and an interior camera. It’s also set to feature something called “BMW Natural Integration” which lets you use voice commands and hand gestures to control the car’s infotainment system.
Judging from that, and the images BMW has shown off, it looks like the car won’t be coming with many buttons. Which is a shame, considering how useless touchscreens are when you have to pay attention to the road. Hopefully those hand gestures will integrate with the interior camera, and don’t involve much blindly tapping at the screen.
That infotainment screen will likely be powered by the iDrive operating system, which BMW has already confirmed for the iX xDrive models.
Naturally, the BMW iX M60 wouldn’t be a modern EV without autonomous driving features, confirming a myriad of driver and traffic monitoring equipment. The announcement also confirms that dynamic cruise control and park assistance will be packaged with the car as standard.
The less powerful iX models are set to come with level 3 autonomous driving hardware built in, which we assume will also be true for the iX. However, level 3 autonomy, which allows the driver to take their eyes off the road for brief periods, still faces a number of legal and regulatory hurdles. So don’t expect more than level 2 autonomous features to be available at launch.
BMW iX M60: Outlook
At a glance the BMW iX M60 doesn’t seem too different from the xDrive 40 and xDrive 50 variants. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll see that the latest M series car has plenty more to offer — especially if you like the thrill of speed and hard acceleration in a car that looks like it has plenty of space.
Sure the BMW iX M60's range could be better, especially since the starting price is well over $100,000. But 280 miles is still a pretty significant amount of distance to cover, and you generally shouldn’t buy a powerful performance car and expect great mileage. But it’s yet another example of just how good performance EVs can be, and I just wonder what BMW could manage if the iX M60 didn’t have all the SUV bulk weighing it down.