When the iX goes on sale in the Middle East later this year or early next year, do you think you have lost the edge to electric SUVs from rival brands that are already here?
Not at all - we are confident that the BMW iX and BMW i4 will be received well by new and existing customers, as it really is the perfect electric fit particularly for Dubai.
With the proportions and dimensions of a luxury Sports Activity Vehicle, a fifth-generation electric drive unit and systems for highly automated driving, the BMW iX embodies the future of driving pleasure in a very comprehensive way. As the BMW Group’s future modular construction system, it combines the latest innovations in the areas of design, highly automated driving, connectivity, electrification, and services.
Furthermore, the BMW iX will be the first model to feature the initial version of the new BMW iDrive, followed by the soon to launch BMW i4. The brand-new BMW Operating System 8 is the most powerful data processing system and technology stack ever created by BMW.
There is a clear focus on having large display panels – for the front passenger as well as the driver across the automotive industry. A different approach has been taken for the new iDrive, where the BMW Curved Display is angled clearly towards the driver to good ergonomic effect and offers a futuristic interpretation of the traditional driver orientation.
However, the front passenger can also view the displays and operate the system by touch control or by voice control. I am certain that these brand-new innovative features will attract customers, putting the BMW iX in the spotlight.
The iX is positioned as the next generation of BMW’s X crossover range. How challenging would it be to get customers used to the adrenaline rush provided by the X5 and the X6 to seriously consider an all-electric SUV?
It is important to note that BMW Group’s electric cars have extremely high torque power, and the BMW iX has a maximum output of more than 370 kW/500 hp. That will be enough to accelerate the BMW iX from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5.0 seconds, which will most definitely be appealing to many. But as always at BMW, we do not put all eggs into one basket. We believe in the power of choice and ensure that we offer a product portfolio that suits everyone’s taste.
With the BMW iX, BMW Group is taking a big step in the field of highly automated driving. It is the first BMW Group vehicle to offer highly automated driving and parking functions from a new technology kit. It offers enormous potential for systematic further development of highly automated driving functions over the years thanks to its computing power, effective sensors, continuous enhancement through data-driven development, and its options for integrating AI into the processing of complex tasks.
What do you think differentiates the iX from other premium electric SUVs already on the market?
Firstly, the BMW iX will feature the initial version of the new BMW iDrive, the new interpretation of BMW’s operating system which equips the connected and smart vehicle to actively engage in its relationship with those on board and, in so doing, serves as a digital, intelligent and proactive partner in any situation. The new digital platform on which the new BMW iDrive will be deployed, is characterised technologically by the use of 5G, Ethernet Gigabit, and a centralised on-board network architecture.
The electric motors for the BMW iX are marked out by a design that enables the use of rare earths to be avoided. This special design also has a positive effect on the motors’ performance characteristics. Unlike electric motors of conventional design, that torque is maintained over an extremely broad rev band.
The defining trait of the driving experience on board the BMW iX is, then, power development that is not only lightning fast but also unbelievably consistent, underscoring the car’s brand- typical sporting excellence.
Will you be bringing the full range of ‘i’ models to the UAE?
We would love to bring BMW Group’s full range of BMW i models to the UAE, however there is always a question of regulations. It is clear to see that the industry is starting to shift towards adopting electric vehicles and autonomous driving however, we must keep this important topic in mind.
Even though we introduced the BMW i3s at AGMC some years ago, the education on EVs is still particularly important at this stage and will be one of our focus areas, to make sure that EV adoption rates will further increase over the coming years.
Next to the BMW iX we will have another fully electric highlight that will be produced from 2021 onwards: the BMW i4. The new model will be launched across the global automotive markets and manufactured at the company’s main plant in Munich. In addition to the sporty, elegant design that is typical of a 4-door coupé of the brand, the BMW i4 is characterised by impressive performance features. We look forward to introducing this incredible BMW i vehicle to our line up in Dubai.
Charging infrastructure has been a pain point for electric vehicle owners as well as prospective buyers. Are you happy with the way things are going in the UAE in this regard?
The UAE already has a respectable infrastructure in place for electrified cars. The UAE electric vehicle charging infrastructure market is driven by the increasing efforts of the government, as well as the natives of the country, for the development of smart and sustainable cities. Dubai is pioneering in this regard, boasting plenty of charging stations available at gas stations and other points of interest. This vision and trend serve as a huge potential for AGMC’s future. And the soon-to-be launched BMW iX and BMW i4 will be another great step towards it.