BMW iNEXT performs extreme weather tests in the Kalahari Desert
We’re getting closer and closer to the official unveiling of the upcoming BMW iNEXT, the brand’s flagship vehicle of the future. As its reveal neared, the Bavarians worked hard to put the iNEXT to the test. Much of the testing of electric vehicles is rough weather testing, to see how batteries and electric motors withstand extreme temperatures. BMW once showed us the car in freezing temperatures in the Arctic Circle, but now we see it in extreme heat, in the Kalahari Desert.
Testing in desolate southern Africa will help the brand discover how the car handles brutal heat, solar radiation, deep sand, gravel roads and permanent dust formations. All this to see if the iNEXT components can cope with the extreme conditions. But it’s not just about testing the batteries and the electric motor, but also the interior electronics, suspension, regenerative braking and more.
It’s also a great test of its all-wheel drive system. The iNEXT will use two electric motors, one on each axle, giving it real-time torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. So, what better place than the Kalahari to test it out? There is deep, soft sand that can swallow up wheels and tires, gravel roads that can test the car’s traction, and even off-road sections that can put its durability to the test.
The extreme heat in itself is an extreme ordeal. The types of temperatures seen in the Kalahari Desert are enough to stress any electric car battery. So, will the BMW iNEXT be able to handle well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit? I guess so, otherwise the iNEXT test mules wouldn’t have come back …
In the accompanying photos, we have the best look at the iNEXT we’ve ever had. We see its angular headlights, its vertical air intakes at the front probably for cooling the brakes, its overall profile without any counterfeiting and a Hofmeister Kink. To be honest, and call me crazy if you will, I actually think this will be one of the prettiest Bavarian SUVs out there. It’s sleek, appears to have a sporty roofline, and one of the best Hofmeister Kinks we’ve seen on any modern Bimmer.
It looks promising and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the BMW iNEXT. Bavarians claim it will be the most technologically advanced Bimmer ever made, with the best electric and autonomous technology of the brand available. The Concept shocked enthusiasts a bit, with its funky design and forward-thinking nature, but I think the production car will be a lot more interesting and exciting.