After weeks of teasing, the BMW iX M60 electric, high-performance SUV from Munich was finally completely unveiled today, at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show. The new flagship model becomes the most powerful electric car the Bavarian company ever made and the fastest electric SUV they ever put together, along with other accolades.
According to BMW, this is the first time the letters i, X and M have been mixed together, a figure of speech for the importance this car plays in the future plans of the German car maker. Under the seemingly unchanged exterior design of this particular BMW iX hides a more powerful drivetrain than you would find on the previous range-topping model, the xDrive50 version. The iX M60 has up to 610 HP and 811 lb-ft of torque at its disposal, thanks to its dual-motor setup, but there’s a catch: they are only available when using Launch Control.
We’ve seen this sort of peak power output numbers on other electric models so far, from other car makers, so this shouldn’t really be a surprise. Those numbers do allow the iX M60 to pull off some crazy numbers, for an SUV that tips the scale at over 2.6 tons. According to the first estimates from BMW, the new flagship will do 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and go up to a top speed that’s limited to 155 mph. Whenever you’re not using Launch Control, the car makes due with 532 horsepower and 749 lb-ft.
Going deeper into the spec sheet you’ll find out that the two motors of the BMW iX M60 (one for each axle) operate on the principle of a current-energized synchronous machine. That is, instead of permanent magnets, the excitation of the rotor is triggered by the precisely metered supply of electrical energy. According to BMW, this design method makes it possible to completely dispense with the rare earth metals required for magnetic components when manufacturing the rotor.
Other changes that took place under the sheet metal include an aluminum spaceframe and a carbon cage with carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the roof. The side and rear sections are made of a mix of materials that aim to improve the car’s structural rigidity and keep the weight in check. Even so, we’re still talking about a very heavy car here, with a 105 kWh battery hidden in the floor. That’s why the M division was charged with developing the suspension setup for the iX M60.
That’s made up of a double-wishbone front axle, a five-link rear axle and M-calibrated adaptive dual-axle air suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers. According to BMW, this suspension setup ensures the optimum vehicle height at any speed, regardless of the load. The air supply to the suspension is regulated individually for each wheel and can therefore compensate for uneven loading. Furthermore, the damper forces are adaptively controlled with continuously adjustable valves, which take into account longitudinal and lateral acceleration, road speed and steering angle as well as body and wheel acceleration on the front axle to provide the required damper force within a few milliseconds.
Apart from all these performance goodies, BMW also showcased another interesting bit of tech at the CES, namely: a color-changing paint. Teased late last month, the new tech made its debut at the show and we were there to catch it in action, as you can see below. No details were offered about how it works or whether it will go into production at the time of writing, but this is definitely an eye-catching party trick for now.
The estimated range of the BMW iX M60, with the standard 21″ rims is going to be around 280 miles, according to the EPA. The high-performance EV is also available with 22″ wheels but that setup is yet to be tested by the EPA for an accurate range estimate. Pricing for the BMW iX M60 will kick off at $105,100, plus $995 destination fee.