New BMW Features Classic Grille β€” for Sensors

The iX is the company's first vehicle on its new modular toolkit.

Handout photo provide by BMW carmaker.
Handout photo provide by BMW carmaker.
Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) β€” German luxury automaker BMW on Wednesday gave an early look at a new battery-driven SUV that illustrates the company's future plans for electric-powered driving.

The iX, previously shown as a concept car under the name iNext, is the company's first vehicle on a new modular toolkit, or technological and mechanical basis that can be used for different vehicles. The toolkit brings with it increased computing capacity to process data from vehicle sensors.

The iX is a long, sleek vehicle a large twin kidney-shaped grille typical of BMW vehicles, and a minimalist interior that uses a curved touchscreen. BMW calls it an SAV, sports-activity vehicle, instead of a sport-utility vehicle.

Since the car is battery-driven and needs only minimal air for cooling, the front grille is solid and houses cameras and sensors behind a transparent surface.

The company says the iX will get 600 kilometers on a full charge under the European standard and more than 300 miles under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's FTP-75 standard, although the company cautions that the ranges are predicted values based on the vehicle's current stage of development.

The vehicle's design is more restrained than an earlier concept version and the car could still undergo changes as it β€œis still in its series production development phase,” BMW AG said in a news release.

The iX will be produced at the company's plant in Dingolfing, Germany, from the middle of next year and reach customers at the end of 2021.

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