No, I have no idea what they were thinking when they styled it either, but this is another one of those impossibly brave BMWs we’ve seen from time to time. Brave not least because to date these kinds of car have not really hit their mark.
The mid-engined supercar, the M1, failed; the genius i8 super coupé never caught on; while the no-less brilliant i3 is finally going to its grave without ever managing the numbers envisaged for it. And if you think the outside of this iX is daring, look at the cabin. Actually I think it’s beautiful, a minimalist’s dream but it goes too far: you know form has overtaken function when you have to start stabbing a screen just to adjust the interior heat. But it’s airy and spacious, and even this entry-level model is more than quick enough for an all electric SUV.
Predictably enough, it’s fabulously refined too. It’s curious to drive, however. On the one hand it comes complete with a luxury saloon ride quality notable usually only by its absence in this category. But it’s as if someone suddenly feared this wasn’t very ‘BMW’ so engineered in quite quick and aggressive steering characteristics as if to remind the driver that, for all its avant-garde styling and futuristic technology, it has not forgotten whence it came. It would be better if it had. This, then, is a car whose design courage I admire but which would have been made better still with more even execution.
BMW iX xDrive40 M Sport
Engine Front electric motor, 80.8kWh battery
Torque 465lb ft
Power to weight 136bhp per tonne
Transmission Single speed, four-wheel drive
Top speed 124mph
Range 257 miles (WLTP)
Verdict Doesn’t need the aggression