derBayerische July/August 2023 - 33

Q U I C K T A K E : T H E 2 0 2 3 B M W i X A N D B M W i7
T
here is a fine line between
being a dreamer and being a
visionary. Both think about
how the world could be, but one
thinks about it while the other does
something about it.
While the debate about the
environmental impact of electric
vehicles continues, the bow wave
of consumer electric vehicles has
arrived.
During the recent Washington
DC area BMW Ultimate Driving
Experience, we skipped the
autocross to focus on BMWs two
latest electric vehicle offerings -
the I7 and the iX. Both are examples
of BMW's visionary approach
to practical electric vehicles.
In our past i4 review, we outlined
BMW's experience with
electric vehicles. Many BMW fans
were not aware that BMW built two
electric vehicles to support the
marathon during the 1972
Olympics. Nor are they aware of a
small, but very vocal group of
BMW EV fans, known as the
" electronauts " . Formed when both
the first generation Mini EV and the
1 Series EV were launched, this
group strengthened with the launch
of the i3.
While justifiably proud of that
groundbreaking vehicle, some of
the BMW engineers worried about
the vehicle's market resiliency.
That is, would the i3 gain broad
market acceptance?
The answer was no. The first
generation i3s had an 81-mile
range. Our review of the i3 Rex,
which used the 647 cc inline twocylinder
engine from the BMW
C650 GT maxi-scooter to provide
70 mile range extension, highlighted
the i3's daily driver limitations.
While the " buff books " and car
market " experts " declared the i3 to
be a failure, it's clear that BMW
learned from this experience.
From my observations, the three
most important lessons learned
(and goals for BMW EV Product
Development) were:
(1) EVs must provide the
July I August
expected BMW driving experience
and ambiance
(2) EV ownership and driving
experience must NOT be a compromise
(3)
To be affordable AND
profitable, BMW EVs cannot be a
" stand alone " product
Based on our long-term
experience with the i4 and our tooshort
experience with the i7 and
the iX, BMW achieved both goal
one and goal three. Thanks to
BMW's groundbreaking modular
chassis architecture, the i4 is the
EV equivalent of the new 4 Series,
the i7 is the EV equivalent of the
new 7 Series, and the iX is the
EV equivalent of the new X5.
Incidentally, the Mini EV is the EV
equivalent of the new Mini.
The elegance and efficiency
■ (Above) Oddly enough, the iX still has the iDrive knob. (Below) The i7
also maintains the iDrive knob.
of offering the EV, hybrid, and IC
engine powertrain on the same
platform cannot be understated.
It's something that must be driving
the other OEMs, especially Toyota,
crazy.
The 2023 i7 and the 2023 iX
show the Rolls-Royce influence on
BMW design and execution.
As did the class-changing E65
7 Series; the exterior design was
polarizing but its presence was
undeniable. Both the i7 and iX
vehicle exteriors have a " regalness "
that was not present in the
previous generation models.
BMW's interior designs have
benefited most from the corporation's
ownership of Rolls-Royce.
Once described as cold and functional,
the interior designs of both
the i7 and iX are warm and
inviting, while maintaining the
expected BMW form-followsfunction
design philosophy.
Engineers have known that
the ability to develop and produce
practical electric passenger
vehicles (in terms of range) was
never in doubt. What continues
to be in doubt is the overall
ecosystem. There has been little
attention paid to developing a
robust, convenient fast-charging
33

derBayerische July/August 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of derBayerische July/August 2023

derBayerische July/August 2023 - Intro
derBayerische July/August 2023 - Cover1
derBayerische July/August 2023 - Cover2
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 1
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 2
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 3
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 4
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 5
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 6
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 7
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 8
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 9
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derBayerische July/August 2023 - 13
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derBayerische July/August 2023 - 19
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derBayerische July/August 2023 - 33
derBayerische July/August 2023 - 34
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derBayerische July/August 2023 - 36
derBayerische July/August 2023 - Cover3
derBayerische July/August 2023 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/derBayerische/derbayerische-january-february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/derBayerische/derbayerische-november-december-2023
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