- Efficient powertrain
- Smooth ride
- Lots of character
Electric cars are drawing huge attention for their green credentials, cheap running and simplicity of engineering.
What is more difficult for them is to excite the emotions and win over petrol heads, especially those used to sportingly powerful V8s or turbos.
Then the BMW iX M60 comes along, and it is a whole new ball game.
Not only does the massive SUV look racy and suave in the way that no other large high-rider has managed, but it is packed with a performance close to supercar status.
Yes, it has the obvious credentials of all EVs – fewer moving parts than an ICE unit and zero mechanical clatter. But it possesses that hard-to-define quality of character, personality and pure joy that has proved elusive to most green rivals.
Engines and Performance
With 611bhp available at the dab of the throttle, the two and half tonne projectile will surge past 62mph in less than four seconds. This abundance of power is fed through to all four wheels in a nanosecond, pinning its occupants back in their seats like few other large SUVs.
It is not just about rapid spurts down the straight either. The M60 is a car to drive down country lanes as well as motorways.
Sure, its width and weight have a negative effect when corkscrewing country lanes, but it handles neatly and precisely with a ride that smooths the irregularities while remaining poised and controlled when pressing on.
There is negligible noise on the move; the main utterance comes from the hugely wide low profile tyres that shod giant 22-inch alloys.
The heavy duty 116kWh battery which, in theory, allows a range of 350 miles, is slung low beneath the cabin to aid balance and weight distribution.
Of benefit to efficiency is the iX’s amazing aerodynamics. Despite being a tall, near five metres long SUV, it manages a drag coefficient of just 0.26, making it one of the cleanest shaped models in its sector.
In real life driving, you can expect to squeeze around 300 miles from the electric power supply. Regenerative braking plays a big part in harnessing the juice and slows the car to standstill unless over-ridden.
It is also possible to rapid charge it from 10 percent to 80 percent in less than 40 minutes thanks to a 195kW peak charging speed.
Design and Equipment
The cabin is a clear step into the future. Hip and a tad bling, there are glass controls and splatterings of wood veneer.
But the star of the facia is a huge curved, oblong touchscreen that spreads from in front of the driver across the centre of the car.
Even the door handles are unusual, with buttons being on an inside panel to open the flush-fitting handles on the outside.
Of course, the furnishings are lavish – deep leather, electric controlled seats, heads-up display, heated steering wheel and ample family stowage space help make this both luxurious and usable transport.
The premier picture is completed by soft-close doors, Bowers and Wilkins sound, laser headlights and BMW's latest excellent iDrive 8 system.
From its over-size kidney grille to its sleek, horizontal tail lights, the iX M60 is a bold and appealing proposition. For all the petrol-lovers that can not bear to part with the performance you get from a typical petrol model, the BMW iX is a great alternative.