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2023 BMW iX1 electric SUV draws closer to launch

BMW has officially said the iX1 all-electric SUV will be available with dual-motor all-wheel drive as it concludes winter testing.

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Jack Quick
Jack Quick
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BMW‘s upcoming all-electric iX1, the company’s competitor to the Mercedes-Benz EQA and Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, is getting closer to its official reveal.

The Bavarian automaker this week put out some official photos of a camouflaged iX1 prototype conducting winter testing in Arjeplog, Sweden, which is a popular testing area for many automakers.

This particular prototype looks extremely similar to previously spied prototypes with the lift-up door handles like the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

BMW has confirmed the iX1 will be added to the model range immediately after the launch of the next-generation X1, which is scheduled for the German autumn (September to November), 2022.

At this stage the iX1 is set for an Australian launch by the end of 2022.

The all-electric iX1 is expected to slot into the space the quirky BMW i3 hatchback left as an entry-level electric vehicle (EV) offering.

The Bavarian brand also confirmed the iX1 will be available with dual-motor all-wheel drive with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology that “uses the latest battery technology”.

BMW stops short on mentioning what the power outputs for the iX1 are, but BMWBlog has previously reported the single-motor iX1 will produce 135kW of power, and the dual-motor all-wheel drive variant will have a total system output of around 185kW.

Electric range for the iX1, according to official prototype testing conducted by BMW, is around 413-438km on the WLTP cycle. Electric combined power consumption is also between 17.3-18.4kWh/100km on the WLTP cycle.

At this stage it’s unclear what size the battery will be though.

Further official details for the iX1 are still scarce for now, but BMW has confirmed the iX1 will have 5G connectivity as standard.

A model landing page for the iX1 has now been live on the BMW Australia website for almost two months. It still only displays a teaser image of the iX1 and a greyed-out entry in the model tab.

It’s expected the iX1 will have an interior very similar to that of the new-generation 2 Series Active Tourer which was revealed in October 2021, which is in turn inspired by the interior of the iX flagship all-electric SUV.

Ahead of the driver in the 2 Series Active Tourer is a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.7-inch central touchscreen running the latest iDrive 8.0 infotainment system.

The iX1, like the upcoming next-generation X1, is built on the front- and all-wheel drive FAAR platform that’s used in the 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe and X2, as well as the Mini Hatch, Countryman and Clubman.

The regular X1, which was recently teased, will also be available globally with a range of diesel, 48V mild-hybrid petrol and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains.

At the BMW Group’s winter testing in centre in Northern Sweden, engineers tested the iX1’s electric motors, electric all-wheel drive and suspension control systems at the longitudinal and lateral limits.

In other words, BMW engineers were sliding an iX1 prototype around on a snow icy pan to see how it reacts.

BMW also tested how the high-voltage battery, electronics and charging technology worked in the freezing cold temperatures.

The iX1 is now BMW’s third electric SUV and will join the iX3 and iX. BMW also offers the i4 which is an all-electric four-door coupe based on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

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MORE: BMW iX1 electric SUV launching by end of 2022

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Jack Quick
Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an emerging automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Jack recently graduated from Deakin University and has previously competed in dance nationally. In his spare time, Jack likes to listen to hyperpop and play Forza Horizon.

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