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BMW unveils its flagship electric SUV, the BMW iX

(Pocket-lint) – BMW has unveiled its new flagship car, the anticipated BMW iNEXT, which gets the new BMW iX street name. This is a large electric SUV – or SAV as BMW calls it – promising over 300 miles of range, while introducing radically new design for the company.

In many ways, this car is an evolution of the exciting work that the BMW i3 started – there’s once again a carbon cage to reduce weight – and it isn’t just a repurposed version of an existing BMW car, but something that’s a much bigger statement.

BMW says that the design of this car started from the inside, wanting to create an interior space that was more like a loft, minimised and free of clutter and that’s seen a reduction of many of the common elements you might expect, fewer switches, greater subtlety and a concept that BMW is calling “shy tech”.

The idea behind shy tech is to have advanced technological features, without them being overtly obvious. One example is the iDrive controller, the familiar click dial that BMWs have offered for well over a decade, now reduced to what looks like a cut glass decoration – but still offering interaction and touch controls. It’s the same as before, but different.

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Rather than having two separate internal displays, there’s now one arching display, supporting touch and designed totally differently to existing BMW cars.

From the outside, this looks a little like a refined BMW X5 and it’s about the same sort of size. It’s rounded rather than angular, however, a softer design rather than the aggressive stance that the sporty X5 offers. Aerodynamics, of course, played their part, so there’s integrated doorhandles, slimmer light signatures, but once again, that familiar upkick on the rear quarter windows.

Around the front, of course, there’s the signature grille – with those massive beaver teeth we saw on the iNEXT concept. Except this is another example of shy tech, as it hides all the cameras, radar and sensors for driver assistance features, so you don’t have to look at them on the front of the car.

BMW says that it can get 600km from the BMW iX (300 miles) while there’s 370kW power, equivalent to 500hp. That will take it from 0-52mph in under 5 seconds. The BMW iX will also support 200kW charging, meaning you can put 75 miles of range into it in 10 minutes, or hit 40 per cent charging in 40 minutes – if you have a charger that powerful.

The BMW iX is due to go into production next year, there’s no word on pricing, but you can expect it to be firmly in the premium tier.

Writing by Chris Hall.

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