BMW iX: World’s first colour changing car

The BMW iX is one of the brand’s latest electric SUV’s; its looks, by default, are pretty out there, which BMW has been doing quite recently with the seven series and the X7. Controversial it might be, but it also pushes the envelope of vehicle technology, and things aren’t as science fiction as more science facts.

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We’ll focus on the iX M60 variant for this article, which is their top of the range version. There are three different model variants available, the iX xDrive40 M Sport, the iX xDrive50 M Sport and the iX M60. All with varying price brackets, the cheapest starting at £75,000 and the top of the range model starting from £111,000. The iX M60 offers up to 350 miles of range; whether this is true or not varies, and as with all-electric cars, their content is impacted on weather, stop and go traffic as well as elevation. The performance, however, isn’t too bad either; producing around 619 bhp and 1,100 Nm of torque ensures that 60 mph is achieved in under 3.8 seconds, with power being sent to all four wheels and onto a top speed of 155 mph.

The interior is modern, minimalist and luxurious. Using BMW’s latest infotainment technology gives a futuristic appeal and approach to the overall feel and presence of the car; it kind of looks like a vehicle from iRobot or Tron, if anyone remembers those movies. Though there is no flaw, BMW hasn’t tried to redesign the wheel. They’ve kept a modern approach to how cars look yet added their unique element. Which works well; it’s nice to see BMW launching their electric vehicle brand without trying to be in your face about it; you develop a sense of respect and joy about the iX range.

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The same can be said about the exterior; it’s unique, distinctive and blends in with the times. The front kidney grille does look a little different, but you can still recognise it is a BMW and if anything, it pays homage to the classic grille layout of the old BMWs from the 60s and 70s. The rear looks like any modern X BMW range; a sophisticated SUV is one way to describe the iX M60.

Here is the slightly controversial element about the BMW iX range, it is the world’s first automaker to develop colour changing paint. Essentially it is a £30,000 wrap, and according to one source from moneycontrol.com, this is how the system works: “It is essentially the same technology behind how Amazon’s e-reader, the Kindle, works. A specially developed body wrap features millions of microcapsules suspended in a liquid. These capsules contain pigments with differently charged particles within them. When an electric charge is applied to the wrap, the colours will alternate depending on whether it is a positive or a negative charge”. In hindsight, this is still a concept design but has seen real-world use and demonstrated on the iX range in the past. Can this system be legal in different countries, and what sort of controversies can this create? It’s fantastic to see vehicle technology developing and adapting, but can we reach a point where it becomes too much, and the technology available to us can be used for malicious intent instead?

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Sources and Images:

https://www.bmw.co.uk/en/all-models/m-models/bmw-ix-m60/2021/bmw-ix-m60-highlights.html

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/automobile/bmw-ix-flow-showcased-at-ces-how-does-bmws-colour-changing-car-really-work-7915991.html

https://www.dezeen.com/2022/01/06/ix-flow-colour-changing-bmw-ces-2022/

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