- based on the next-gen X1
- will look similar to regular X1
- closed-off front grille
- smaller air intakes
- blue badges
- recharging socket
- unique wheels?
- subcompact size
The iX1 mule is wrapped in camo from nose to rear, but it’s pretty obvious that the vehicle used here is a bit different that the current, second-generation X1. This doesn’t mean that the iX1 will be a different vehicle. Just like the iX3, which is a regular X3 with minor changes, the iX1 will also be heavily based on the standard X1. But the reason why this mule feels so different is because it is likely based on the next-generation X1. The current X1 is already five years old as of 2020 and the third-generation crossover will brake cover in the first half of 2021.
From these spy shots we can see that changes won’t be radical. The X1 will retain the shape and size of its predecessor and the same will apply to the electrified model. There are no unique features to talk about right now, but the iX1 will probably carry many of the extras seen on the bigger iX3. The biggest change compared to the regular X1 will be the grille. While the shape and size of the kidney grille will remain unchanged, it won’t have the traditional vertical bars or mesh. Because electric cars don’t need as much cooling as traditional vehicles, the grille will be almost entirely closed off. The iX3 features small vents at the bottom of the grille, so you can expect to find a similar design on the iX1.
Likewise, the front bumper will feature smaller openings onto the sides, as well as a slimmer vent above the apron. Subtle bright blue trim elements around the vents and the grille will further set the iX1 apart from the regular X1.
While the front fascia will look a bit different, the profile of the iX1 will be identical to the X1 save for the blue-colored inserts in the side skirts. The same goes for the rear end, where the “iX1” badge on the tailgate and the blue bumper inserts that mimic exhaust pipes will be the only signs of an all-electric drivetrain under the shell.
- heavily based on next-gen X1
- small interior
- premium materials
- state-of-the-art technology
- EV specific content
- smaller trunk due to battery pack?
We have yet to see the interior of this iX1 mule, but it’s safe to say that it will be heavily based on the regular, third-generation X1.
Actually, we’d better replace “heavily based” with “identical,” but the iX3 is identical to the X3 inside the cabin and BMW will apply the same strategy here.
Of course, the iX1 will benefit from a few unique features, but these will be limited mostly to technology. The digital instrument cluster will show info about the electric drivetrain and the battery, while the infotainment display will have a couple of extra menus for the same purpose. It should also include a blue start button and maybe some blue detailing to showcase the SUV’s all-electric layout. It remains to be seen if passenger and trunk room will be impacted by the battery pack, but modern packaging in floor usually means that EVs are just as spacious as their gasoline and diesel counterparts.
Drivetrain and performance
- at least two power options
- single-motor with 180 horsepower
- dual-motor with 250 horsepower
- should be quick
- range of at least 200 miles EPA
- fast-charging option
There isn’t much information to run by, but some reports claim that BMW will offer two powertrain configurations for the iX1. If true, it will be a departure from the iX3, available with just one electric motor rated at 282 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of twist. So will the iX1 feature the same motor? Well, it seems BMW might take a different route here.
Rumor has it the iX1 will become available on both single- and dual-motor layouts, but none of them will match the iX3 in terms of power and torque. BMW will reportedly offer an entry-level version with a single motor good for 180 horsepower and a more expensive, dual-motor variant with around 250 horses.
Although the latter isn’t as powerful as the iX3, it packs more punch than any available X1 model up until now. The current X1, for instance, tops out at 228 horsepower in xDrive28i and xDrive25d trims, while the xDrive25e plug-in hybrid cranks out 225 horsepower.
Of course, the single motor version will be front-wheel drive, while the dual-motor variant will benefit from all-wheel drive.
How fast will it be? Well, don’t expect the base model to take you from 0 to 60 mph too quick. Most likely it will need more than eight seconds to do so. However, the AWD version with 250 horsepower should be quicker than the iX3, which needs 6.8 seconds to get there. Depending on how heavy it will be, the iX1 AWD could hit the benchmark in less than six clicks. Top speed will probably be limited at around 110 mph, which is essential in keeping the battery healthy in the long term.
Speaking of which, the iX1 will be fitted with the same fifth-generation eDrive battery as the iX3. This 80 kWh battery provides a range of up to 286 miles on the WLTP cycle in the iX3, a figure that should remain similar in the iX1.
The iX3 isn’t available in the U.S. so we don’t know how much it means in EPA testing, but range should decrease to around 200 miles. I guess we can expect for the single-motor iX1 to deliver around 200 miles EPA, while the dual-motor version could provide a bit less since it’s a little more focused on performance.
A fast charging system should enable you to recharge 80 percent of the battery in around 35 minutes. On a regular household charger it will probably take more than eight hours to fully recharge the battery pack.
How much will the BMW iX1 cost?
The BMW iX3 commands a hefty premium over the regular X3, so it’s safe to assume that the iX1 will also be notably more expensive than the regular X1. The latter retails from around €32,300 in most European markets, which means that the iX1 could start from around €47,000. That’s a lot of money for such a small crossover, but it’s still notably more affordable than the iX3, which comes in at around €64,628. Should it cross the pond to the U.S., the BMW iX1 will probably retail from around $49,000.
When will the BMW iX1 go on sale?
The BMW iX1 will most likely debut in the second half of 2021, which means that it should go on sale in late 2021, for the 2022 model year. It’s unclear whether the iX1 will be offered in the United States at this point.
The SUV market includes quite a few electric vehicles nowadays, but most of them are either compact or midsize, so they’re bigger than the upcoming iX1. The Hyundai Kona Electric is a subcompact, but it competes in the non-premium segment. This leaves only the Volvo XC40 Recharge as an option. The boxy crossover is basically all-new in EV form, which was introduced in 2020. It looks identical to its gas, diesel, and hybrid siblings on the outside, but it packs only electric motors and batteries under the shell. The iX1 will probably match the Volvo in terms of features, technology, and comfort, but the Swedish crossover is a much more powerful option. Available in only a dual-motor layout, it comes with a whopping 402 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque on tap. The XC40 Recharge starts from $53,990 in the United States.
Read our full story on the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
Will the BMW iX1 be better than the Mercedes-Benz EQA?
Well, we don’t know that because the EQA is also an electric vehicle that has yet to see the light of day. We know it’s coming because Mercedes already unveiled a concept vehicle and based on the nomenclature it will be a subcompact (an electric alternative to the GLA Class). Much like the iX1, it will be sold with at least two powertrain options, the most powerful of which will generate more than 260 horsepower. Mercedes-Benz also promises a real-world range of around 250 miles. Pricing should be similar, somewhere between $47,000 to $52,000.
Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA.
We don’t much about the iX1 at this point so it’s too early to make predictions, but this small crossover will help BMW expand its all-electric lineup. With offerings limited to only the i3 and iX3 as of late 2020, BMW is already falling behind the competition, so the iX1 is a much-needed addition to the range. The company’s second electric crossover, the iX1 will be followed by the flagship iX to form BMW’s triple assault on the electric SUV market.
- likely good looking exterior
- new tech inside
- powerful drivetrain options
- solid competition from Volvo