BMW is injecting a lot more pizzazz into its controversially styled iX as the fully electric SUV is getting an M-branded version delivering the performance we usually see from lightweight sports cars. Even though it weighs about as much as the moon, the M60 will do 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in as little as 3.8 seconds and top out at an electronically governed 155 mph (250 km/h).
How is that possible? Well, the all-wheel-drive-only luxobarge comes with a pair of electric motors providing a combined output of 610 horsepower (455 kilowatts). It’s not enough to take the crown for the most powerful BMW ever from the 627-hp M5 CS, but far more impressive than the hp figure is the torque delivered by the two motors.
You’d better sit down for this one because the iX M60 pumps out 1,015 Newton-meters (almost 750 pound-feet) or as much as 1,100 Nm (nearly 810 lb-ft) in Sport Mode with the launch control activated. However, we should point out the maximum power is only available for up to 10 seconds, after which the electric motors are dialed back down to the original output.
As far as range is concerned, it comes as no surprise the M60 is not as thrifty as the non-M versions of the zero-emissions SUVs. According to BMW’s own estimates, it should do anywhere between 499 to 566 kilometers (310 to 351 miles) based on the WLTP cycle courtesy of its standard 111.5-kWh battery pack. For the sake of comparison, the xDrive50 can cover up to 630 km (391 miles) on a single charge per WLTP.
Once the battery is running low, you can charge it 200 kW, in which case it can be replenished from 10% to 80% in 35 minutes. Using a DC fast-charging station will result in 93 miles (150 kilometers) of range within 10 minutes, provided the battery’s state of charge (SOC) is at a minimum of 10%.
Even though it’s a big and bulky SUV, the drag coefficient is a relatively low 0.26 as long as the vehicle is in the aforementioned Sport Mode. It doesn’t look all that different compared to the standard iX since the changes are limited to blue calipers for the upgraded M brakes, optional 22-inch aero wheels with a Titanium Bronze look, and black M badges with a bronze contour to mirror the XM Concept.
Another important feature is the implementation of air suspension on both axles, complete with electronically controlled shock absorbers. The engineers have also added rear-wheel steering to lower the turning circle and make the iX M60 a bit more agile while being pushed hard through the corners.
BMW will showcase its fastest electric vehicle ever on January 5 at CES in Las Vegas where it will also present a futuristic in-car entertainment system along with new tech for changing the body color of a vehicle. The global rollout of the M-branded electric SUV is scheduled to commence in June.