Endurance test at the North Cape: The BMW iX undergoes final winter testing.

Endurance test at the North Cape: The BMW iX undergoes final winter testing.

The first BMW iX: test drive to the north cape (12/2020).
Munich. A year prior to market launch, the series
development process for the BMW iX is forging ahead as scheduled.
Following the presentation of the final design of the BMW iX at the
#NEXTGen 2020 in Munich, prototypes of the new technology flagship are
now ready for final winter testing north of Scandinavia. The endurance
test, which is being held under extreme weather conditions beyond the
Arctic Circle, serves, among other things, the fine tuning of drive
and suspension systems. Moreover, the electric motors, four-wheel
drive system as well as charging technology, high-voltage batteries
and heat management are put to the demanding acid test under sub-zero temperatures.

The tuning and test drives take the prototypes of the BMW iX as far
as Europe’s most northerly regions. On deserted roads in Finnish
Lapland and to the North Cape on the Norwegian island of Magerøya,
both the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology and the suspension
control systems have to prove their functionality and reliability in
particularly demanding road and weather conditions. In the process,
test engineers evaluate above all the interaction between drive and
suspensions systems on road surfaces with a low friction coefficient.
Unsecured tracks, icy roads and ice surfaces especially prepared for
test-driving on the edge of the Arctic Circle offer the ideal
conditions to precisely coordinate the motor control technology, the
electric four-wheel drive and suspension control systems right up to
the limits of longitudinal and lateral vehicle dynamics.

The BMW iX is the first model based on a new, modular and scalable
future BMW Group construction concept. It was conceived from the
outset for purely electric mobility, and with the latest development
stage of BMW eDrive Technology, intelligent lightweight construction
and optimized aerodynamic characteristics it sets new benchmarks in
efficiency within the competitive environment of the luxury Sports
Activity Vehicle (SAV). Two electric motors together generate a
maximum power output of more than 370 kW/500 hp according to current
calculations. An integral part of the endurance test at the North Cape
is also the final tuning of the intelligent four-wheel drive system
BMW xDrive and adaptive adjustment of the axle-specific yaw moment,
which in addition to stability and traction also constantly optimizes
the BMW iX’s efficiency. The aim of the development is to achieve an
extremely low combined power consumption of less than 21 kWh per 100
kilometres in the WLTP test cycle and a range of more than 600
kilometres, likewise according to WLTP, values which are untypical of
this class.

During the winter test, the components of BMW eDrive Technology are
faced with very special challenges. The high-voltage batteries and the
charging technology undergo in extremely low outdoor temperatures
field testing for everyday use in the deep of winter. Likewise,
displays informing of charge level, range and operating status as well
as the heat management system, which constantly ensures the optimum
operation temperature of the drive system and high-voltage batteries,
demonstrate their resistance to extreme sub-zero temperatures. 

Within the shortest time, the challenging test programme demands more
from the BMW iX prototypes than the future production models have to
withstand during their entire life cycle. The evaluation of all test
results and the resultant fine tuning of all drive and suspension
components of the BMW iX will pave the way during the coming months
for the launch of a new era of driving pleasure.

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