BMW iX M60 test: Obel’iX!

Like the famous Gaul, the flagship of the BMW electric range is illustrated by an exceptional physique and strength. This even doubles again with the appearance of an M Performance version.

Great Ferrarist before the Eternal, Albert Uderzo might not have liked us to compare “his” Obélix to a colder electric SUV. The late designer would have objected to us that unlike the best friend of Asterix the Gaul, the iX the Bavarian still and always abuses the magic potion when he too seems to have fallen into it when he was little .

Already cumulating up to 523 hp, the flagship of “battery-powered” BMWs now reaches 619 after adopting the M Performance label. This new M60 version uses the two-engine architecture xDrive50 tested last fall. Except that the rear machine has a rotor with an increased diameter of 20 mm, has 6 phases and withstands being crossed by a current of up to 1,200 A.

Do not panic, if you are not an electrical engineer, other figures are at least as eloquent. The maximum torque totaled by the two axles climbs to 1,015 Nm, or even 1,100 during a launch control. What embarrass more than one thermal supercar. 0 to 100 km/h is announced in 3”8, to the chagrin of an M3 Competition (propulsion), in theory beaten by a tenth in the same exercise.

Alas, although the Munich firm has once again attached itself the services of Hans Zimmer, famous composer of film soundtracks (Interstellar, Armageddon, the Lion King, etc.), to set the driving to “music” and give it the air of space travel, the abundance of power and torque never really reaches the expected theatricality. The comical tremors deliberately generated by the traction chain when activating said starting procedure do not change anything.

Let’s get along, it’s growing very hard and right away. Incredibly even considering the more than 2.6 tons to put in motion. But downside of the electric, there is nothing that resembles the accelerations of an iX more than those of another iX, whatever its pedigree. Especially since the xDrive50 is already not the kind of soft knee. And if the M60 is frankly distinguished by its top speed, its sensitivity to side winds discourages long-term exploration of the additional 50 km/h tolerated by the electronic flange.

All hopes of any change of scenery compared to the rest of the range then rest on the dynamic behavior. The possibility of equipping this SUV with optional high-performance tires is also a good omen. But here again, it would be necessary to be able to jump from one version to another to put your finger on possible nuances.

Ah yes, there is this feeling of comfort, still imperial, but degraded to the margin by stiffer anti-roll bars (by 10% at the front and 20% at the rear) and the large optional rims of 22” of our copy. The specific management of the pneumatic controlled damping, like that of the rear steering wheels, supposed to make the changes of course more frank, otherwise remain without great effect.

The mastodon, handy, accepts to chain the curves at a good pace with an amazing phlegm, then gently widens the trajectory from the front as it approaches its limits. But it in no way flaunts the extra fancy to which the M Performance versions, certainly less radical than the M “just short”, we are used to. Which, strictly speaking, is all the less to regret the cruel lack of maintenance of the large seats in the first row, identical to those of the other iXs.

In our opinion, the few hundred horsepower and the large handful of tenths of a second gleaned from 0 to 100 km/h are not worth the approximately 50 km of autonomy lost and the nearly €30,000 to pay more. The M60 prefers to emphasize the equipment, somewhat enriched. But that doesn’t have much to do with sports…

Our Verdict

This M60 version makes the iX more powerful. More expensive too. But certainly not sportier or more entertaining.

WE love

  • Handling
  • General comfort
  • Performance

We love less

  • Timid chassis evolutions
  • Limited interest
  • Lack of seat support

BMW iX M60 data sheet

TO BUY

  • Version tested: €136,500
  • From €136,500
  • Average manufacturer consumption/during the test (kWh/100 km): 21.8-24.5/25
  • CO2/bonus: 0/0 €
  • Fiscal power: 10 CV
  • Country of manufacture: Germany

Range offered

  • Electric from 326 to 619 hp, from €86,450 to €136,500

CONDUCT

  • Motor: two synchronous electric motors
  • Maximum power (hp): 619
  • Maximum torque (Nm): 1,100
  • Curb weight (kg): 2,659
  • Length.xwidth.xhigh. (m): 4.95×1.97×1.70
  • Wheelbase (m): 3
  • Battery capacity (kWh): 111.5
  • Autonomy manufacturer (km): 502-563
  • Max speed (km/h): 250
  • 0 to 100 km/h: 3”8
  • Standard tyres: 255/50 R21
  • Test tires: 275/40 R22, Pirelli P Zero

LIVE

  • Width at elbows (front/rear): 159/156
  • Rear leg length: 80
  • Chest at 5 (l): 500

RECOMMENDED OPTIONS

  • Electrochromic glazed roof: €3,350
  • 22” rims and high performance tyres: €2,150
  • Wheel repair kit: €55

MAIN COMPETITOR

  • Audi e-tron S, from €96,600

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