BMW iNext electric SUV enters hottest development phase in South African desert
BMW has entered the scorching phase of the development of iNext, the 100% electric SUV which aims to become the brand’s new technological flagship.
The intensive development program has now traded the freezing temperatures of the Arctic Circle with the extreme heat and solar radiation of the Kalahari in Southern Africa. In this harrowing environment with the rugged off-road terrain, BMW will ensure that the electric iNext offers the necessary durability and reliability in all areas.
Read more: 2021 BMW iX5 electric SUV – Technological tour de force or too late for the party?
BMW’s engineering team took the pre-series test cars for testing in the desert and savanna regions of South Africa, with surfaces alternating between sand dunes, gravel and various off-road paths to see how the car’s components, suspension and four-wheel drive system reacts in extreme conditions.
The future BMW iNext is also subjected to extreme heat tests, where the car is repeatedly exposed to the heat of the sun for hours and then cooled. In this way, engineers test things like the temperature stability of the materials inside, to ensure that there won’t be annoying squeaks even during sudden and intense temperature fluctuations, as well as electrical systems and their operability.
The Kalahari also provides the ideal environment for testing the ability of various flaps, doors and covers to keep dust out of the cab and other areas. Engineers drive the prototypes for thousands of miles on unpaved roads and through dunes and other sandy terrain to ensure the BMW iNext doesn’t let any dust get inside.
Production of the BMW iNext – which would adopt the iX5 nameplate – will begin in 2021 at the Dingolfing plant. The final production model will feature BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology, promising a range of up to 373 miles (600 km) and 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in around 4 seconds in its top version. of range.
Additionally, the 2021 BMW iNext will feature a range of highly advanced driver assistance technologies, including the possibility of highly automated driving.