The electric performance SAV you’ve been waiting for will soon be available—for the 2023 model year, to be specific. When BMW finally announced the i4 and iX lineup for the U.S. last summer, it was made up of four models: The i4 eDrive40, the i4 M50, the iX xDrive50, and some sort of then yet-to-be-announced M Performance model of the iX. The iX M60 is that final and previously unknown model, and it comes packing the impressive equivalent of 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque courtesy of two M-specific fifth-generation eDrive motors. BMW says the 5,769-pound iX M60 has a preliminary range of 280 miles with 21-inch wheels, can go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, and assures that acceleration remains nearly constant up until the electronically-limited maximum speed of 155 mph.
The iX M60 starts at $106,095 and is set to be available starting in June. This range-topping version of the iX represents the intersection of three distinct BMW-related worlds: BMW i, the line of BMW X SAVs and SACs, and, of course, BMW M. The influence of the first two should be pretty obvious, but aside from having a specific tilt towards performance, BMW M’s involvement requires a bit more in the way of explanation. Some of the specifics include an M-enhanced adaptive air suspension for both axles, while the motors, more specifically the rear unit, use a unique M-specific design with the current-energized synchronous machine principle to deliver the kind of power one expects from an M version of an electric SAV. Another integral component is the six-phase drive unit which features a double inverter. These parts work together to ensure consistent power at high speeds, where it matters just as much if not more than from a dead stop—especially in a BMW, and particularly so in a BMW M model. Brakes, a rather necessary system for such a powerful vehicle, are also of the M variety.
As the M Performance model of the iX lineup, the iX M60 comes standard with a full of array of driving assistance technology, and is the first M vehicle based on BMW’s modular system which brings autonomous driving systems, connectivity, and digital services under one roof. A Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system is also standard, along with adaptive LED headlights with laser light, and BMW’s live cockpit professional, which is prominently featured in the photo below.
The standard exterior color is Alpine White, but there are an array of other optional choices including metallic varieties of Dark Graphite, Phytonic Blue, Blue Ridge Mountain, Storm Bay, Oxide Grey, and Aventurin Red. The interior can come wrapped in perforated Oyster, Mocha, or Black SensaTec, or perforated Amido or Castenea Chestnut leather. To complete the atmosphere of the cabin, other standard amenities like ambient lighting and BMW’s Iconic Sounds Electric (by Hans Zimmer, and available for you to sample in the video at the bottom of this article) are also present, among much more.
The $106,095 starting price of the iX M60 makes it $21,900 more expensive than the $84,195 iX xDrive50. That lesser model comes with the equivalent of 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque, and can accelerate from zero to 60 in the mid-to-low four-second range. It can also be specified with many of the same options and packages as the M60—but not all of them, and can’t be had with the array of M-specific design elements which work to set the two models apart, like the optional BMW Individual Titanium Bronze touches.
Whether or not the iX M60 deserves an M badge has already been decided, and if the performance of the i4, both in terms of efficiency and speed are any indication, along with demand for it and the currently available iX xDrive50, this latest model is unlikely to disappoint, with performance and technology that speak for themselves.—Alex Tock
[Photos and video courtesy BMW AG.]