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2023 BMW iX M60 review

The iX M60 is all about having your cake and eating it too. This is an all-electric SUV that nails its all-encompassing brief perfectly.

Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford
Senior Road Tester
Published
PROS
  • It's scary fast off the line and keeps on pulling up to 251km/h
  • Sublime comfort amidst its tech-fest interior
  • It's more tired down and confident in the handling department
CONS
  • It doesn't look a lot different to the iX xDrive50
  • It commands a sizeable premium over its iX xDrive50
  • No iX M planned... yet

If you thought the BMW iX xDrive50 was not quite quick enough out of the blocks and a bit too soft in the corners, then the Bayerische Motoren Werke already has the fix. It’s called the iX M60.  

That’s not to say the show-stopping, X5-sized electric SUV is any kind of slouch. We’d argue leaping from standstill to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 200km/h isn’t exactly hanging about, but the iX xDrive50 was designed first and foremost for supreme comfort, and comes equipped with enough cutting-edge technology to warrant a headline appearance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

If you want more, and that’s more of everything – from an overflowing equipment list to an avalanche of power and torque – the 2023 BMW iX M60 is guaranteed to deliver.

Autobahn-primed with no less than 455kW of power along and an immense 1100Nm of torque, M GmbH’s first electric SUV and only the second electric BMW to wear an M badge is frighteningly fast. So fast, you’ll probably scare yourself the first time out. I’m no rookie at this game, and it got me.

The two electric motors launch the iX M60 from standstill to 100km/h in a noise-free 3.8 seconds, but anyone who’s actually used the launch control feature contends it’s significantly more rapid than the factory claim. Keep it pinned and it’ll maintain its thrust until it nudges its 250km/h limiter.

More impressive yet is the fact the iX M60 isn’t a fully-fledged M car like its X5 M petrol equivalent. that’s likely to come next in the form of the iX M, with more battery power and enhanced driving  dynamics. A scary thought for sure.

Not only is the iX manufactured using 100 per cent green electricity including the battery cells, but it also manages to weave in a commendable level of ecological and social sustainability into the cabin with sustainable wood, leather tanned with olive-leaf extract, and flooring which uses recycled fishing nets as the raw material.

There’s not a lot to distinguish the iX M60 from its less powerful stablemates, like the xDrive40 or xDrive50, at least from an exterior perspective. Somehow, I’d like the M60 to stand out more than it does with its titanium bronze accents, blue-painted brake calipers, and 22-inch aero wheels.

How much does the BMW iX M60 cost?

The all-new iX M60 flagship is priced from $222,900 before on-road costs and options, a $53,000 premium over the iX xDrive50.

If that’s a bit rich, the BMW iX range kicks off from $135,900 for the iX xDrive40, while the iX xDrive40 Sport costs $141,900 before on-roads with identical outputs and performance.

2022 BMW iX pricing:

  • iX xDrive40: $135,900
  • iX xDrive40 Sport: $141,900
  • iX xDrive50: $169,900
  • iX M60: $222,900

Prices exclude on-road costs

Like-for-like rivals are almost non-existent now that Tesla has pulled the Model X from its Australian range, while smaller Model Y is still not here.

Audi has the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback from $168,400 and $175,400 respectively, but they can’t match the iX M60’s outputs or performance. Mercedes-Benz makes its EQ range of electric vehicles but the EQC isn’t as big and again, is no match for the M60’s performance.

What is the BMW iX M60 like on the inside?

Forget about the fact the iX M60 is an electric SUV for a moment, because there isn’t a more interesting, exciting, or comfortable interior fit-out in the business – at least not one I’ve seen.

BMW really has hit the ball out of the park with its iX range, and I mean the entire range. Just look at this cockpit; massive curved screens with crystal-clear colour and clarity, and cloud-based navigation with augmented reality.

That’s not the only cool screen in the iX M60. The colour head-up display is enormous and displays an array of navigation instructions and information, so there’s never a need to look away from the road ahead.

On the one hand it looks and feels like something from a sci-fi movie, on other it’s a seamless blend of largely intuitive technology, perfect ergonomics, and comfort levels that must surely raise the eyebrows of the Rolls-Royce team at the BMW Group.

To access most functions, you’ve got the choice of using speech (Hey BMW, lower the temperature), the giant 14.9-inch touchscreen or the exquisite crystal-like iDrive controller.

There’s gesture control, but honestly folks we’re not quite there yet with this rather annoying tech. You’ll end up melting yourself on a hot day with a gesture that’s interpreted wrongly.

While the steering wheel looks a bit odd, it feels superb to the touch. It’s not as thick as some BMW tillers and while it looks minimalistic in design there’s loads of functionality in the toggle switches on each side spoke.

The super-soft leather seats in both rows offer extraordinary levels of comfort, yet with adequate bolstering to keep you upright in the fast sweepers. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like more bolstering in the M60 over the xDrive50, or at least the ability to adjust it electronically, as they look to be identical.

I particularly like nautical-inspired floating console bridge for its combination of simplicity, design, and all-round functionality. The crystal-like start/stop, drive selector switch and rotary iDrive controller look and feel superb in its wood-topped form. Even the volume scroller is fashioned from the stuff.

There’s wireless CarPlay and Android Auto that’s fast and very robust compared with other vehicles we’ve driven. There’s wireless charging too, making costly Apple charging cables redundant.

Storage space up front for odds and ends is suitably sorted with a large leather-upholstered dual-door console bin, and there’s more space under the console bridge as well as a convenient upright phone holder.

Down back, there’s a stack of room in the boot – enough to easily swallow three large suitcases and a few soft bags. Fold the rear seats in their 40/20/40 split and there’s loads more hauling capacity.

Better still, all-electric vehicles like the iX that use a proper EV platform have no transmission tunnel hump in the centre, and  offer more comfort for rear-seat passengers.

What’s under the bonnet?

The electric BMW iX M60 has a dual-motor all-wheel drive set-up, delivering 455kW of power and up to 1100Nm of torque in launch mode. In the Sport setting, peak torque is capped at 1000Nm to conserve battery power and range.

By comparison the iX xDrive50 makes 385kW of power and 765Nm of torque, using the same twin-motor set up.   

Both the iX M60 and iX xDrive50 feature the same high-density 112kWh battery that gives the M60 a claimed 566km range on the WLTP test cycle, while the xDrive50 gets substantially more at 620km.

The combined charging unit of the iX M60 can charge with alternating current (AC) with peak power of up to 11kW at home using three-phase power, while fast charging at an ultra-rapid station will see the iX slurp electrons at up to 200kW.

It means the battery charge level in an iX M60 can go from 10 to 80 per cent in around 35 minutes. Topping up to the tune of 150km will take around 10 minutes if battery power was sitting at 10 per cent.

Comparisons will be made with the likes of the Tesla Model 3, which is capable of charging at 250kW in base trim or the Porsche Taycan, which can suck down power at a rate up to 350kW, though we recognise the different segments each vehicle competes in.

How does the BMW iX M60 drive?

If we thought the iX xDrive50 was quick off the line (and it is) in Sport mode, the iX M60 in an another league altogether.

It feels like it gets off the line twice as fast and is guaranteed to catch you by surprise. There were a couple of instances during our drive in Germany where the sheer thrust under full throttle was so violently fast we backed off momentarily while our brain caught up.

Even in its most efficient mode it feels exceedingly quick in comparison with most internal-combustion cars.

It’s not just the ballistic acceleration out of the blocks that will have you smiling like a Cheshire cat, it’s the relentless pulling power as both electric motors unleash a combined 1000Nm of torque from the get-go, all the way up to 251km/h – which is what we achieved on the autobahn.

We only backed off for an Audi R8 which was on the brakes rather suddenly, but I felt the M60 had a bit more in it. It’s also electronically limited in the interests of efficiency and range, so who knows what its top speed really is.

There’s no winding up the revs for a safe high-speed overtake as you do in these parts if you’re driving an ICE vehicle, you just punch the iX M60 and in a single instant you’re effectively travelling at warp speed.

Aerodynamics might help, given the M60 is optimised to give it an exceptionally low drag coefficient of 0.26 in Sport. That’s quite a feat given its size and proportions, though there are no extra-wide wheel arches that might increase drag as you get on the X5 M, which clearly helps.

It’s massively satisfying to have control of such colossal thrust on tap under foot. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s life-changing as far as driving performance goes.

Power delivery can be metered out in minute increments for the peak-hour crawl without needing to switch to a more efficient drive mode. You can’t always do that in a regular performance car.

Even in Sport there’s a level of adaptive recuperation at play, which only serves to increase efficiency and range in the flagship EV. When you want all-out brake regeneration and proper one-foot driving, even on high-speed autobahns, you just nudge the drive selector back again.

It’s also surprising just how linear all the major controls feel, from the throttle, brakes and steering, given the iX M60’s big lift in performance over the still-quick iX xDrive50.

Then there’s those M-turbine sounds created by Hans Zimmer to accompany throttle and brake movements in the M60. It’s hard to describe, but you just don’t seem to ever get tired of them, as the volume and bass levels seem perfectly in sync with thrust.

They sound familiar, if not identical to those emitted by the i4 M50, another BMW M Performance EV with similarly ballistic throttle response.

Where the iX xDrive50 is first and foremost a luxury EV equipped with dual-axle air suspension tuned for maximum bump-crushing compliance, the M60 gets the same setup but with its own M specific tune for more rigid body control when you really start to lean on it.

There’s still some slight roll as you tip the big unit in to a corner but it’s more tightly controlled and better off for it. It’s still wonderfully good at ironing out speed bumps and broken roads, but now you can hustle the M60 in the tighter stuff with a lot more confidence.

That’s not to say some owners won’t crave more outright handling talent, but that might require a stiffer approach to ride comfort or a departure from air suspension to regular springs and dampers… which might mean a full-strength iX M.

We also spent a good deal of time driving around Berlin and as big as the iX M60 is, its four-wheel steering makes light work of the most demanding conditions including plenty of underground car parks and U-turns at traffic lights.

What do you get?

iX M60 highlights:

  • 22-inch Aero Alloy Wheels
  • Comfort Access
  • Seat Heating, front
  • Multifunctional Seats, front
  • BMW IconicSounds Electric
  • Driving Assistant Professional
  • Parking Assistant Professional
  • Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System
  • BMW Natural Interaction
  • BMW Live Cockpit with Operating System 8.0
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless charging
  • Interior Design Suite with Olive Tanned Leather
  • Panorama Glass Roof Sky Lounge
  • Integral Active Steering
  • Adaptive 2-Axle Air Suspension
  • Soft-Close Doors
  • BMW Laserlight
  • Sport Tyres
  • Tyre Pressure Monitor
  • M Sport Brakes in Dark Blue Metallic
  • Interior Applications Clear&Bold
  • Interior Camera
  • Five-year unlimited subscription to Chargefox network

Paint options

Eight paint finishes are available for the BMW iX M60, including five metallic options and two BMW Individual metallic options:

  • Alpine White (non-metallic)
  • Black Sapphire
  • Sophisto Grey
  • Phytonic Blue
  • Blue Ridge Mountain
  • Oxide Grey

BMW Individual metallic ($2600 each)

  • Storm Bay
  • Aventurine Red

Upholstery options

All three upholstery offerings are available at no cost to the customer:

Interior Design Loft – Stone Grey

  • Seat covers in cloth/microfibre combination
  • Instrument panel in microfibre
  • Centre console and centre armrest in microfibre
  • Highlight components and controls in Gold Bronze
  • Highlights in Gold Bronze in head restraints

Interior Design Suite – Amido

  • Seat covers, instrument panel, centre console, centre armrest and door panel in exclusive, olive leaf-tanned natural leather
  • Highlight components and controls in Gold Bronze
  • Highlights in Gold Bronze in head restraints

Interior Design Suite – Castanea

  • Seat covers, instrument panel, centre console, centre armrest and door panel in exclusive, olive leaf-tanned natural leather
  • Highlight components and controls in Gold Bronze
  • Highlights in Gold Bronze in head restraints

Alloy wheel program

Three 22-inch wheel designs are available for iX M60 at no cost to the customer.

One wheel design, the 22-inch M aerodynamic wheel 1023 Bicolour Titanium Bronze 3D polished buff, is new and will be added to the iX line-up in time for the iX M60’s arrival.

Option packages:

  • Comfort Package: $3500
    • Steering Wheel Heating
    • Active Seat Ventilation, front seats
    • Heat Comfort Package; includes:
      • Seat heating, front and rear
      • Armrest heating, centre console
      • Armrest heating, front and rear doors
      • Heated instrument panel lower section, beneath steering wheel and glove box lid
      • Heated front and rear door panels, upper trim

Is the BMW iX M60 safe?

The BMW iX wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP in 2021.

It scored 91 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 73 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 78 per cent for safety assist.

All models come standard with:

  • AEB with pedestrian/cyclist/junction assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-change assist
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Front and rear cross-traffic assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Safe exit warning
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Automatic speed limit assist
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
  • Front and rear parking sensors

How much does the BMW iX M60 cost to run?

BMW continues to offer just a three-year warranty compared with most other luxury brands who have adopted four or five-year terms.

BMW Australia hasn’t officially offered a specific service program for the upcoming iX M60, but currently offers four or six-year capped price servicing for the iX at $1520 and $2195 respectively.

That averages out at $380 and $365, respectively, if serviced annually.

CarExpert’s Take on the BMW iX M60

Some (perhaps many) will buy the BMW iX M60 after one look at its top-line performance numbers, while others will lust after its cutting-edge technology, sublime comfort, or Swarovski-inspired switchgear.

Then there’s the ride, more composed handling, and the five-years of free charging at Chargefox sites.

That said, it commands a big premium over the truly game-changing iX xDrive50, and for some that will be too much to ask.

The iX M60 is about having your cake and eating it too. This is an all-electric SUV that nails its brief.

It’s mega quick up to its electronically-limited top speed, gets good range, is a veritable tech-fest inside, and offers supreme comfort and space for the whole family.

Any gripes, you ask? Not really, that would be like grasping at straws, but it does beg the question of when we will see a full-fat iX M with more on tap and enhanced driving dynamics.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Everything BMW iX

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Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford is a Senior Road Tester at CarExpert.
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Ratings
Overall8.8
Show Breakdown
Cost of Ownership 7.8
Ride Comfort 9.4
Safety 8.9
Fit for Purpose 9.6
Handling Dynamics 8.6
Interior Practicality and Space 8.5
Fuel Efficiency 8.6
Value for Money 7.8
Performance 9.3
Technology Infotainment 9.8

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