If you’ve questioned the sort of performance you could expect from a battery-electric crossover, BMW hopes to put your doubts to rest with the debut of the 2023 BMW iX M60.
The third version of its new battery-powered crossover offers a blend of power, utility, and comfort, the carmaker claims — and it offers a hint of where the vaunted M performance brand will be heading in an all-electric future.
“By integrating a vehicle concept geared towards sustainability with the design of a modern Sports Activity Vehicle and thrilling dynamic driving characteristics, the BMW iX M60 embodies the best of three worlds: BMW i, the BMW X models, and BMW M GmbH,” the Bavarian automaker said in a statement marking the debut of the electric crossover at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
BMW Playing Catch-Up
BMW was an early entrant into the EV market with products like the all-electric i3 city car and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. The brand slipped behind rivals in recent years but is determined to catch up, in 2021 introducing both the i4 and two initial versions of the iX.
Like the initial xDrive 40 and xDrive versions, the 2023 BMW iX M60 adopts a rather controversial design, with a massive and upright take on the familiar BMW double-kidney logo. Features unique to the M model include blue-painted brake calipers and the requisite M badging.
With a 118-inch wheelbase, the iX is roughly the same size as a BMW X5. With no engine up front, however, the space normally used for the engine compartment has been repurposed, giving the crossover a size-class-above interior.
It features a hexagonally shaped steering wheel which, according to BMW, “improves ease of access and gives the driver a better view of the information display.” The curved layout of the display actually blurs the fact that there are two separate displays, a 12.3-inch gauge cluster, and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen.
2023 BMW iX M60 Boasts Plenty of Power
There are the usual M touches, starting with distinctive new badging. But the emphasis with the 2023 iX M60 is on performance.
The twin-motor drive uses components unique to M, including a six-phase inverter and motors that don’t need costly rare earth metals. In standard mode, they combine to produce 532 hp and 749 lb.-ft. of torque — that torque coming on instantaneously. Activate the sport boost, and output jumps to 610 hp.
That’s enough to launch the iX M60 from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds, as much as two seconds quicker than the earlier versions of the electric crossover. And with one motor on each axle, power can be directed fore and aft to deliver a performance-oriented take on all-wheel-drive.
More than Just Straight-Line Performance
Of course, straight-line performance is only a portion of what defines an M model. And BMW engineers have worked the same handling magic on this battery-powered model as they do with BMW’s more conventional product lines.
Dealing with mass is a challenge with an EV. To reduce weight, BMW adopted an aluminum spaceframe with a carbon cage and carbon fiber reinforced plastics used for many of the body panels. By going with a skateboard-like platform, meanwhile, with batteries and motors below the load floor, the iX actually boasts a lower center of gravity than the comparably sized X5.
The M edition adds variable-ratio electric steering and a two-axle air suspension tuned for sporty driving.
The 2023 BMW iX M60 features a 111-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. It yields up to 280 miles range, according to the EPA, when the crossover is equipped with the standard 21-inch tires. The official range with the optional 22-inch rubber hasn’t been released yet.
Charging times depend upon how much power you can feed the beast. Using a 250-kilowatt quick charger, a motorist can get back up to 80% range in as little as 35 minutes. With a 240-volt Level 2 system, meanwhile, charging will take at least 10 hours to reach 100% of capacity.
2023 BMW iX M60: Mid-Year Launch
Inside, the M60 carries a large load of standard features, including the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which permits the use of gesture controls and adds a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. A radiant heating system helps keep passengers warm while reducing demands on the battery pack in cold weather.
Look for the 2023 BMW iX M60 to reach U.S. showrooms in June of 2022. The automaker hasn’t revealed final pricing yet but expects it to come in at around $105,000.