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South Africa's foremost electric mobility platform

  • Writer's pictureIan McLaren

All-new, all-electric BMW X1 confirmed for South Africa

The iX1 forms part of the third-generation compact SUV range set to launch in SA by the end of 2022.

Introduced in 2009, the X1 plays a significant role within BMW’s broad portfolio of vehicles. Not only does it represent its maker’s ambitions within an ever-popular global compact SUV segment, but it serves as a crucial entry point into this Munich-based brand’s highly profitable X family of SUVs; currently flag shipped by the X7.

Dubbed an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) by its maker, the all-new third generation X1 is scheduled to be introduced globally by October 2022. Slightly larger in every dimension compared with outgoing version, the “U11” generation X1 is set to arrive in South Africa a few months later, before the end of 2022.

Offering both a stronger-than-ever sense of presence on the road and latest-generation interior conveniences, while the SA-bound range will likely feature a selection of nevertheless 48V mild hybrid turbopetrol and turbodiesel powertrains, the significant news is that the brand’s first all-electric compact offering, the iX1 xDrive30, has also been pencilled in for sale on our shores. This model will play a crucial role in BMW’s plans to sell up to two million fully electric vehicles by 2025, with every new BMW sold by 2030 set to feature battery-electric propulsion.

Housing an electric motor on each axle, the all-wheel drive iX1 xDrive30 boasts a combined maximum output of 230 kW with 494 N.m of torque continuously proportioned between the front and rear wheel, while on the move. Via a 64.7 kWh battery mounted below passenger compartment, BMW claims the first all-electric X1 offers an operating range of up to 438 km. Able to be charged from empty in 6.5-hours (overnight) via a single-phase 11 kW home wall box, the car can also accept up to 130 kW of DC “fast charge” for a 29min boost from 10-80% operating capacity.

BMW says the iX1 will launch from 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 180 km/h.

At launch, the third generation X1 range will feature the brand’s latest Operating System 8 and new iDrive setup functioned via either voice commands or the same impressive 10.25 curved touchscreen display as introduced with the iX. Broadly interactive depending what functions are available within each market, this system’s navigation system can detect and list available charging stations en route, before pre-heating the car’s high-voltage battery for maximum efficiency ahead of a potential DC fast charge.

The stealthy iX1 is set to feature BMW’s IconicSound Electric synthesised sound programme that allows owners to select an accompanying soundtrack to match their driving mood.

Including a selection of wheel options ranging from 17- to 20-inches in size, the all-electric derivative will be distinguished via BMW i blue accents placed around the new car’s bold, nearly square kidney grille, slim LED headlamps and altogether beefier stance compared with the second-generation model. Pricing will be confirmed closer to the X1 range's local introduction.

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