New BMW has classic grille – but for sensors, not airflow

Luxury carmaker BMW is showing off a new SUV it says will provide the direction for its future electric models

The iX, previously shown as a concept car under the name iNext, is the company’s first vehicle on a new modular toolkit, or technological and mechanical basis that can be used for different vehicles. The toolkit brings with it increased computing capacity to process data from vehicle sensors.

Since the car is battery-driven and needs only minimal air for cooling, the front grille is solid and houses cameras and sensors behind a transparent surface.

The company says the iX will get 600 kilometers on a full charge under the European standard and more than 300 miles under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s FTP-75 standard, although the company cautions that the ranges are predicted values based on the vehicle’s current stage of development.

The vehicle’s design is more restrained than an earlier concept version and the car could still undergo changes as it “is still in its series production development phase,” BMW AG said in a news release.