The BMW iX M60: Personal, Sport, and Efficient, for a ride just right
Earlier this year, during the Superbowl, the world caught a glimpse of an electric future, starring the brand new BMW iX alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek.
The iX M60 is currently the flagship and fastest all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) by BMW. It bears all the fine refinements that come with the coveted M badge and performance to match it.
Economy Middle East was among the first to test-drive it in Berlin and push it to the limit thanks to the unrestricted autobahn.
In conventional terms, under the bonnet is perhaps the smoothest 619 hp generated by two motors. One positioned on the rear axle produces 489 hp. The second feeds power to the front wheels supplying 258 hp. For those with quick math, the numbers add up. The effortlessly efficient motors are entirely developed in-house by BMW and consume significantly less energy than previous iterations. Thanks to that, the range stands at 561 km.
In terms of performance, maximum torque is 1.015 Nm in Sport Mode and 1. 100 Nm when launch control is engaged. That means 0 to 100 km/h takes only 3.8 seconds and the top speed is limited to 250km/h. That is 50 km/h more than any other iX. Faster top speeds are possible, but frankly, the batteries will overheat. For the record, on our test drive, we hit a breezy 242 km/h on the German Autobahn without breaking a sweat.
The Battery and Range
The BMW iX M60 houses a high-voltage battery with a net energy content of 105.2 kWh. That simply translates into some of the best performance and charging behavior as well as durability and safety in the market. Like most EVs’ the BMW iX M60 can be charged using an AC or DC current. With a fast-charging station providing DC current, the battery level can go from 10 to 80 percent in around 35 minutes. The range can also increase by 150 km within 10 minutes provided the battery charge level is no less than 10%. If driven sensibly the BMW iX M60 will take you from Dubai to Fujairah, and back again two and a half times.
The Drive and Equipment
We drove the BMW iX M60 in the inner city and on the autobahn. On both occasions, it practically glided on the road and handled beautifully, thanks to its low center of gravity. The dual-axle air suspension, which comes as standard, helps make the ride as smooth as one could hope for. The driver can also choose from three ‘my modes’ options; Personal, Sport, and Efficient, to make the ride just right.
Being the top-tier of the iX range, the M60 is equipped with rear-axle steering, adaptive cruise control, park distance control, a 360 surround-view camera, and the much-admired Bowers & Wilkins sound system. What makes the sound system particularly pleasant is the BMW IconicSounds that have been developed in partnership with two-time Academy Award winner, Hans Zimmer. As acceleration occurs the electronic sounds mimic a roar to match the mammoth performance. The sound quality is so good, and the screen so large, that your BMW iX M60 could double as a compact cinema. Some additional options I liked include the heated & cooled massage seats, laser lights, comfort access, and the BMW Live Cockpit Professional.
BMW’s latest infotainment iDrive 8 comes as the operating system; it is intuitive, quick, and almost as seamless to use as your smartphone. The massive curved 14.9-inch digital gauge cluster sits directly in front of the hexagonal-shaped multifunction steering wheel. The curved screen gives a real driver-centric feel and cocoons you in a sort of command center. The middle is occupied by the 12.3-inch central screen running the endless apps and widgets. As per usual, anytime you mention the brand name, the iDrive 8 will be on your case faster than Jeeves answering his master’s bell.
There is an electrochromic panoramic roof, which gives a nice airy feel to the car and is meant to filter ultraviolet lights. My concern with this type of roof, not only in the iX M60 but also the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo we recently drove, is the intensity of the temperatures we experience here in the GCC. BMW however assures me that this could be solved with simple tinting of the glass.
Three is not a crowd at the rear cabin and provides considerable comfort even on longer journeys. Thanks to quadruple A/C vents, USB-C plugs, and infotainment, rear-seat passengers are offered a luxurious environment in the BMW iX M60.
If your question is, ‘How M is the iX M60?’ Well, with 619 hp, rapid seamless, yet subtle acceleration, fantastic balance, and cornering abilities, the BMW iX M60 is a true Motor Sport. Economy Middle East says; this is by far the most exciting SAV produced by BMW, certainly until its big brother arrives early next year. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the paradigm-breaking XM.