- BMW unveiled the high-performance version of its iX electric crossover.
- Does the iX M60 have what it takes to challenge the Tesla Model X?
We dig the iX, BMW's first all-electric SUV. Beneath the cheese grater front bumper and hideous nostril panels lies a quiet and comfortable crossover worthy of its nearly $85,000 price tag. We think the standard iX's 4.6-second dash to 60 mph is perfectly adequate for most people, but even the slowest Tesla Model X is about a second quicker. Not wanting its owners to be dusted off the line by California's native dorkmobile, BMW is introducing a high-performance version for next year's iX. Here's everything we know about the 2023 BMW iX M60, and how it stacks up against Tesla's range-topping SUV, the Model X.
The entry-level iX xDrive50 produces 516 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque — roughly on par with the automaker's twin-turbo V8-powered 850i coupe. But because the iX tips the scales at nearly 5,700 pounds, it is estimated to return a good-but-not-great 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds.
The new iX M60 isn't much heavier than the standard model, but it is significantly more potent. By default, the dual-motor powertrain produces 532 horsepower and 749 lb-ft of torque. Select the launch control mode and output is boosted even higher, to a healthy 610 hp and 811 lb-ft. That's still less than the base Model X's 670 hp, but BMW says the M60 can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds — a couple ticks quicker than the Model X's estimated sprint time.
The elephant in the room is the Model X Plaid, which boasts just over 1,000 horsepower and a claimed 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. While we think this time is a hair optimistic, it's hard to imagine that the iX M60 will out-drag a Model X Plaid.
So the iX M60 can finally run toe to toe with an everyday Model X, even though the Plaid is probably outside its reach. But that doesn't mean we think you should put in a reservation for the Model X just yet.
There are a few things working in the BMW's favor. The most obvious — and we really can't believe we have to note this — is the presence of a traditional steering wheel. The Model X's wheel lacks a top portion, so you essentially guide the vehicle with an airplane-style yoke. We found the operation of this yoke one of the worst aspects of the Tesla Model S sedan in real-world driving scenarios. We're also not big fans of the Model X's gullwing-style rear doors, which are more gimmicky than useful. Or its unintuitive technology interface, or its underwhelming interior design and materials, or the lack of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity, or — you get the idea.
So even with the performance-focused BMW iX M60, you won't be able to beat the top-spec Model X off the line. But the BMW's superior ... everything else ... should make it more appealing the 99.99% of the time you aren't challenging Tesla owners at the local drag strip. Look for the iX M60 at your local BMW dealership when it goes on sale in June 2022 at a starting price of $106,095 (including destination charges).
We think the standard version is quick enough, but the 2023 BMW iX M60 will finally quiet your annoying neighbor who goes on about how fast their Tesla Model X is. Except the Plaid. The BMW probably won't outrun the Plaid.