BMW hits a home run with the all-new electric iX and transformed 2 Series Active Tourer
BMW – iX xDrive 40
It’s ‘Beem’ a hell of week here at Motormouth Towers with not one, but two brand-new BMWs to set my pulse racing again after missing out on so much due to that pesky Covid-19 lockdown.
My colleagues gave me dog’s abuse for complaining about how much paperwork I had to do to get coronavirus clearance and finally get a taste of international travel again.
For legal reasons I couldn’t even begin to tell you the names I was called, and it would probably be in my own best interest not to report it to the HR department because most of it was true and very funny to be honest.
It all began two weeks ago when I first rocked into the office carpark in the all-new fully electric BMW iX.
I could see the tongues wagging from the moment I opened the car door and I knew I was in for it.
The first thing I had to explain to them, and many others besides, is that the new BMW iX is not an electrified version of the X5 SUV — it’s an entirely new model that will possibly be the new template for a range of new all-electric models that are coming down the BMW pipeline.
Sporting massive ‘Bugs Bunny-like’ teeth on the front grille, the iX looks might not be to everyone’s taste — even my own teenage daughter described my all-black model as a ‘Bat Mobile’.
However, when I actually took it out and about around town there was some serious head-turning by passers-by and, one admirer in particular, nearly re- enacted the famous Linda Blair scene from the Exorcist movie when her head turned 360 degrees.
Step inside though and you will discover an interior like nothing you have ever seen before from BMW.
It’s clean and spacious for all five passengers and is absolutely loaded with all the latest cutting-edge technology that has already begun to trickle down to more affordable models in the BMW range.
The unusual-shaped steering wheel was the first thing that struck me after stepping inside the vehicle, it’s more hexagonal than circular in shape, but it does give the driver a clearer view of the all-new 12.3-inch instrument screen, which forms part of BMW’s all-new ‘Curved Display’ console.
Adjacent to this very impressive new instrument cluster is BMW’s 14.9-inch touch-screen infotainment system.
It’s a breath of fresh air for the premium brand that was lagging behind the likes of Audi in this department.
It features BMW’s new-generation operating software, which is designed for 5G connectivity and operates more like the latest Apple/Android phone now rather than a run-of-the-mill car infotainment system.
It’s very clever indeed. On the road, the all-new BMW iX handles superbly. You could honestly hear a pin drop even at speeds of 120km/h it’s that quiet.
My test model for the week was the BMW iX xDrive40, which has a ‘claimed’ range of 425km. However, even after charging it for almost 15 hours twice on my home wall box, I never got above 385km on a full charge.
Maybe that was down to my out-dated wall box, but if that is the case you are looking at around 350km on the range in real terms.
Prices for the all-new BMW start at €85,815 for the iX xDrive40 version. Step up to the xDrive50 and you will be digging deeper to the tune of €112,895, rising to €116,595 for the M Sport model.
This model does come with a bigger battery and ‘claimed range’ of 549-630km on a full charge. Big bucks for a big motor if you can afford one.
BMW – 2 Series Active Tourer
Once upon a time there was an ugly duckling...
Yes we have all read the fairytale storyat one stage or another and it came back to me while driving the all-new second-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in the carefree Cotswolds in the UK this week.
I have to admit, the first-generation model to me was about as exciting as Covid, it was that bad.
But, as the story goes, the ugly ducking has now matured into a beautiful swan at the second time of asking and the premium German brand might just have nailed it with the perfect premium family car.
Undergoing major exterior and interior surgery, the new 2 Series Active Tourer has finally come of age.
On the outside, the new 2 Series gets a fresh new look in the shape of an over-sized grille and full-LED headlights as standard.
It is slightly bigger, yet lower, in proportion to the outgoing model, offering more space to all passengers.
But it is on the inside where the new 2 Series BMW is the clear winner on Operation Transformation, and it now features a similar, albeit smaller, version of the ‘Curved Display’ cockpit that takes pride of place in the aforementioned flagship electric iX model.
It’s actually amazing how quickly the technology ends up in lower model that are almost half the price of their bigger siblings.
The new 2 Series Active Tourer also features new engines, including two petrols and one diesel. The range will further be expanded this summer with the addition of two plug-in hybrid models equipped with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology for a significantly extended electric range.
A choice of Sport, Luxury and M Sport variants, plus the availability of extensive individualisation options, ensure the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer appeals to a wide number of drivers.
The three- and four-cylinder petrol engines are built at BMW Hams Hall near Birmingham.
We were treated to a tour of the plant this week in the UK, where we got to see a team of professionals churning out 10 engines an hour from start to finish — including building the main block components from bare metal from start to finish. The engines are then shipped off to the US, and even China.
The Sport model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, sport seats with anthracite cloth upholstery, LED headlights, high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim, and parking assistance with reversing camera and park distance control as standard.
Luxury cars feature 17-inch V-Spoke alloy wheels, aluminium exterior trim, Vernasca leather upholstery, and heated front seats.
The M Sport package introduces a distinctive front apron design, 18-inch Bi-colour alloy wheels, adaptive M Sport suspension, adaptive LED headlights, folding exterior mirrors, sport seats with Alcantara/Sensatec upholstery, luxury instrument panel, heated seats, comfort access and wireless charging.
Prices for the new 2 Series Active Tourer start at €41,225.
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