A year after BMW debuted its iX electric sport utility vehicle, it one-upped itself. For 2023, BMW iX M60 joins the two-car stable. It has the same interior beauty, superior performance and a peculiar front grille resembling the two halves of a rear-end or a set of flared nostrils.
Competition at the high end of the electric SUV segment includes the Tesla Model X, Mercedes EQS, Audi e-Tron, Cadillac Lyriq and the Rivian R1S. The Polestar 3 is scheduled for a 2024 debut.
The BMW is the only vehicle in the group without third-row seating. But the distinction is overridden as a minor inconvenience considering the M60’s upside.
The new IX features 610 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. Zero-to-60 miles per hour acceleration is achieved in 3.6 seconds. Standard also are a 1-speed direct drive transmission and all-wheel drive. The combined EPA mileage is estimated at 77 MPGe. The full-charge range is 288 miles.
Both vehicles are propelled with liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries located under the floor. According to BMW, DC fast charging from 10 to 80 percent can be completed in 35 minutes. Ninety miles of range can be charged in 10 minutes. With an 11-kilowatt home system, a full charge takes slightly longer than 10 hours.
Advanced technology complements the BMW’s mechanics. The infotainment system is called iDrive 8 and is offered on a 12.3-inch driver display and 14.9-inch touchscreen. Driving convenience includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and a remote parking function.
The appeal of the BMW iX M60 interior is a contradiction but it works well. The dash, console, hexagonal steering wheel and overall cabin areas are attractively stark. Back-seat passengers have 38.9 inches of legroom. Behind the 40/20/40 split/folding rear seats is 35.5 cubic feet for cargo. With the seats folded, the cargo volume extends to 77.9 cubic feet.
The exceptions to the vehicle’s open design simplicity are the glass seating levers located on the door panels. A traditional shift lever has been replaced by a small, horizontal glass fob. It glides through gearing best accomplished with finesse; it doesn’t shift.
Acceleration, steady comfortable driving and braking are the iX M60’s fortes. The sub-four-second power allows confidence in all traffic scenarios. Need to maneuver through traffic? It’s never an issue.
The signature BMW trait is highway speed driving. The flagship SUV complies, with a caveat. The vehicle advances so smoothly, cruising far above the speed limit is an unintentional given. It takes a determined effort to keep the car’s wont to power down the road in check.
Air suspension is standard, further adding to the SUV’s superior maneuvering around traffic, negotiating corners and in all other driving situations.
One-pedal driving is increasingly available on high-end vehicles and it’s included on the BMW iX M60. The braking system has three levels of energy regeneration. Ease off the throttle and the vehicle slows. The feel requires an adjustment from conventional braking. But driving without having to remove your right foot to brake unless it’s suddenly needed is a welcomed, simplified process.
The BMW’s appeal is further complemented in several areas. It has a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof. Brake calipers are painted the well-known BMW blue. The seat belts match.
For audiophiles’ pleasure, the Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system is top-line with its 30-speaker/1,615-watt presentation.
Quiet, smooth driving and a simple, posh environment in which to do so catapult the new BMW to the top of the carmaker’s offerings. Brand enthusiasts will further tout the manufacturer. New BMW iX M60 owners will rejoice at their first-time purchase.
Nothing BMW does comes cheap. The MSRP for the 2023 iX M60 is $105,100. Its options and taxes push the price to $109,270. For car buyers with $100,000 budgets, the new electric SUV is high-end value.