Review and road test of the BMW iX M60
iX TO THE POWER OF M
The ultimate BMW iX is this one, the iX M60. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at what's on offer.
Ten Second Review of the BMW iX M60
BMW has brought the expertise of its M division to bear upon its iX luxury EV and the result is this fearsomely fast iX M60. M technology adds a race-ready feel to this already uber-sophisticated large Crossover - and it gets the highest possible standard of iX trim - as you'd want from the three-figure asking price.
Thought the BMW iX was over the top? Wait till you check out the iX M60: 619hp, 1,100Nm of pulling power punch and 62mph in 2.9s. Whoever said EVs were boring.
Wild large luxury EVs aren't anything new of course. We've already had the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S and the Tesla Model X Plaid. Planet-hugging race-ready lottery winners will be pleased to have a third alternative.
Various lottery winner-level luxury EVs are offered in extreme performance forms and of course BMW was never going to resist the urge to follow that trend. So the summit of the iX range is marked by this M60 version, which uses the same 105.2kWh battery as the '50'-series model but mates it with an even more powerful 619hp electric motor total output, delivered with up to 1,100Nm of torque. The range reading - 357 miles - is still acceptable and 62mph flashes by in just 3.8s on the way to an electronically limited maximum of 155mph.
On the move, the ride quality on offer from the 5-link rear axle is difficult to better in the class and embellished here by BMW's 2-axle air suspension set-up, which comes with electronically controlled dampers and is mated to active rear wheel steering. As in any iX, the driver can choose 'High', 'Moderate' or 'Low' Brake Energy Regeneration settings - or leave the system to do its own thing in 'Adaptive'. There are three 'My Mode' drive settings - 'Personal', 'Sport' and 'Efficient'. And there's an 'IconicSounds Electric' artificial EV soundtrack, though we think after trying it, you'll prefer to turn that off and savour this BMW's astonishing refinement. This EV even handles quite a lot like an M-tuned BMW should, the stiff chassis admirably resisting body lean and the electromechanical steering providing accurate feedback.
Design and Build
If you know the BMW iX, you'll recognise this top flagship M60 version by its 22-inch 'Air Performance' alloy wheels finished in Titanium Bronze. Through the spokes of these peep blue brake calipers featuring an M logo. And there's a unique exterior look thanks to the addition of BMW's 'Individual Titanium Bronze exterior line' finishing. Plus there are M logos with a high-gloss black Titanium Bronze finish on the front side panels and at the rear of the vehicle.
Inside, you get sumptuous 'Suite Natural Leather Upholstery', with high-set ventilated front seats that position you commandingly at the helm of a BMW unlike any you'll ever previously have experienced - there's so much to take in. The curious hexagon-shaped steering wheel is difficult to ignore; your main point of control is a rocker switch for gear selection; and even in a screen-dominated era, the 'Live Cockpit Professional' set-up's gently curving slither-like joined 'Curved Display' is unusual, apparently floating above the angular dash and incorporating a 12.3-inch instrument set-up and a 14.9-inch central infotainment screen. The two-part centre console's a bit different, designed, BMW says, in the style of 'a high quality piece of furniture' and free-standing, so there's a lovely open footwell right across the front of the car. As in any iX, there's comfortable space for two or three adults in the back. And you get a 500-litre boot, extendable to as much as 1,750-litres.
Market and Model
The iX M60 uses the same bigger battery as the iX xDrive50 but is in a price league of its own, costing around £112,000. It offers 619hp and offers 357 miles of driving range. That's £17,000 more than an iX xDrive50 'M Sport' model, which offers a 523hp total output and a 380 mile driving range. The iX M60 model's cloest market rival is probably the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo, which puts out 598PS, costs around £105,000 and has a 304 mile range.
As you'd expect, the M60 performance variant gets its own unique level of equipment. This includes larger 22-inch 'Air Performance' alloy wheels, Soft Close Doors that latch themselves when half shut, the 'Parking Assistant Professional' surround view camera system that slots the car into spaces and an 'Interior camera' system that gives you the dubious benefit of in-car CCTV. M60 customers get a headlamp upgrade as well - to piercing blue-themed 'Laserlight' beams which give a range of 600 metres. Inside an iX M60, there's BMW's 'Interior Design in Suite Natural Leather Upholstery' package. And a thumping Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound audio System. Plus you get 'Comfort Access' keyless entry with remote tailgate operation. And the 'Heat Comfort Package, along with ventilated front seats, sun protection glass and a massaging system for the front seats.
Cost of Ownership
We'll re-state the range figure we gave you in our 'Driving Experience' section. The iX M60 delivers a claimed WLTP-rated range of up to 357 miles per charge from its 105.2kWh battery pack. That's 23 miles less than the iX xDrive50 model with the same battery delivers. What about charging? Well the M60 has 200kW charging capability that'll deliver 75 miles of driving for every 10 minutes of charging. This car, the Munich maker says, can be charged from 10% to 80% capacity in under 40 minutes and on average, uses around 21kWh of electricity per 62 miles travelled.
Over an ownership period of 125,000 miles, BMW claims that the iX will have a 45%-lower global warming potential than that of a comparable diesel model. And the brand is seeking to enhance the sustainability of its supply chain and increase its use of recycled materials for the iX. All of which will help to cut production emissions by 18%.
Nobody needs an EV capable of going this fast. But nobody ever really needed manically quick fossil-fuelled sporting large luxury SUVs with coupe credentials - and they've sold prodigiously anyway. At least you can enjoy this one without being faintly uncomfortable about parking it at the golf club.
As with an ordinary iX, the looks are divisive, but if you like them, you'll argue that this is how a lottery winner's crossover EV of the future should look. And the pavement presence is definitely improved by the M60 body styling. Saving the planet has never promised to be much fun. But at the wheel of one of these, it just might be.
BMW iX M60 review by Jonathan Crouch