June 27, 2022

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Dial M for more power and control: the BMW iX M60 2023 tested

Dial M for more power and control: the BMW iX M60 2023 tested
Zoom / We’ve been expecting a controversial design from BMW, but the face of the iX is starting to grow on me.

Jonathan Gitlin

These days, automakers are in a bit of a bind. Over the generations, the industry has developed and refined their products and now it’s time to get rid of this knowledge as it relates to internal combustion technology and learn all new things about electric motors. That feeling should be particularly acute in the more niche corners of the industry, such as the express dealers in charge of factory-built sedans and SUVs with decals that read AMG, Blackwing and the like.

The BMW M is arguably the most famous, having just celebrated its 50th anniversary last week. For decades, since the 1972 BMW Turbo mid-engine concept, the tri-color badge has been the epitome of sharp handling and plenty of power, usually delivered by an engine. But the future is full of electric, even in M, which is why we were in Berlin to try out its latest innovation, a modified version of BMW’s latest electric SUV, the 2023 iX M60.

BMW M just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with the introduction of the M4 CSL.  But it just released another new M sedan, the iX M60.
Zoom / BMW M just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with the introduction of the M4 CSL. But it just released another new M sedan, the iX M60.

Jonathan Gitlin

We first tasted the iX last summer. It’s a controversial thing, as with many of BMW’s recent creations, and best viewed as an all-electric alternative to the more traditional X5 SUV. But the engineers at M have now got their hands on the iX, having already worked their magic The i4 M50.

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Electrification is a double-edged sword for fashionistas like the M. Electric motors may not be as awesome as some BMW’s six-cylinder engines. But even the sharpest naturally aspirated engine can hope to match instantaneous electric motor speed when it comes to instantaneous throttle response, especially not in the 0-40 mph (0-65 km/h) speed envelope that spends most of us Most of our driving time is in it.

On the other hand, these types of powerful electric motors only work if you can supply them with high-voltage electricity, and that currently means towing massive lithium-ion battery packs, which weigh several hundred pounds more than equivalent gasoline. – Powertrain. The iX M60 weighs in at 5,769 pounds (2,617 kg), which is two more than the midfield linebacker. BMW X5 M.realistically, the closest internal competitor to the iX M60 in terms of price and power output.

The BMW naming may confuse some customers, so just think of the iX as the electric X5.
Zoom / The BMW naming may confuse some customers, so just think of the iX as the electric X5.

Jonathan Gitlin

Going electric means carrying more mass, then. BMW added more power to compensate, but the mechanical changes to the powertrain compared to the less powerful iXs we drove in 2021 are minimal.

The rear motor’s rotor has been lengthened by 0.8 inch (20 mm), allowing a larger magnetic field to be applied – and therefore more power being generated. The motor spins to 15,400 rpm, and there is now a six-stage dual commutator allowing a maximum of 1,200 amps, which is transmitted to the wheels via a single-speed transmission housed within the same compact drive unit as the motor and power electronics.

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As with BMW’s other Gen5 electric drive units, it is in-house made and is an electrically excited synchronous motor that uses no magnets (and thus no rare earths) in its construction.

The headline figure is 610 hp (455 kW) combined in the iX M60 in Sport mode and launch control and 811 lb-ft (1,100 Nm) of torque available in launch control. And since the iX M60 doesn’t need to rev the turbocharger or fill the 4.4 liter V8 with fresh air, that gives it a natural performance advantage over the X5 M. To 60 mph (97 km/h) it takes just 3.6 seconds, and the increased Top speed for summer tires to 155 mph (250 km/h).

In the iX M60’s less-crazy drive modes (Personality and Efficiency), power delivery is brought back a bit to a maximum of 532 hp (397 k) and 749 lb-ft (1,015 Nm). Individually, the front drive unit is rated at 255 hp (190 kW), and the rear – 483 hp (360 kW).