We could not have higher expectations. This toy hides up to 455 kilowatts or 619 horses under the hood. The manufacturer promises that one of its largest models with a three-meter wheelbase will travel up to 566 kilometers on a single charge. Elite endurance results from the maximum usable battery capacity of 105 kilowatt hours. They will be needed. Four adults will ride, and on the way back they will somehow become difficult.
We’re leaving. It is Saturday, 8:30 in the morning, and we are looking forward not only to the steady acceleration of the 2.5-ton colossus from zero to a hundred in 3.8 seconds, but also to the blueberry feast. Under the highest peak of Hrubé Jeseník, where this divine event takes place, we head in a slight detour. The tested “bávo” is gradually discharged both on the highway to Hradec and on the districts through Mohelnice up to the 327-kilometer distant destination.
After a while, it becomes clear that the iX M60 belongs to controllable electric cars, with a “gas” pedal. If it is not working, it is effectively braked by adaptive recuperation, which partly returns energy back to the battery. On the other hand, the air conditioning drains energy.
Charging for the first time. I hope I’m the last. We left Prague with batteries charged to 96 percent. At the same time, the car promised a range of 510 kilometers, theoretically i.e. a journey from Prague to Budapest on one charge. We arrive at E.ON’s roughly 226-kilometer charging station in Mohelnice at 28 percent, i.e. with a reserve of 152 kilometers. Although iX M60 owners pay extra for the lightning-fast charging speed – the battery can be charged from ten to eighty percent in less than forty minutes – there are not many fast chargers in the Czech Republic.
Electricity flows from ours to a 50 kilowatt battery. An hour’s rest benefits us and the car. As unregistered customers not using a tariff, we charge the battery to 52 percent for just under five hundred. The new car has a range of over 400 kilometers, including the 152 with which we arrived at the station. It’s only less than three hundred kilometers from Praděd and then to Prague, so we probably won’t have to charge anymore. We are naive, but more on that later.
We’re leaving again, the blueberries won’t wait. The joy of driving in a luxury BMW is strongly enhanced by the large panoramic roof with the possibility of electrochromatic dimming. We enjoy a dynamic ride, thanks to the four-wheel drive with a pair of electric motors. There are four of us and no luggage. Fortunately. There wouldn’t be much room left for them. Although the iX M60 is a giant SUV and one of the biggest BMWs ever, it doesn’t offer much storage space.
It doesn’t have an opening hood, much less a front trunk – unlike the Tesla and other competitors. We don’t find too much space in the back trunk either. The manufacturer quite possibly prioritized the legroom of the passengers sitting in the back, who really can’t complain about the comfort.
We arrive under the highest mountain in Moravia with an altitude of 1491 meters. We drove 327 kilometers with an average consumption of 28.3 kilowatt hours per hundred kilometers. That’s a decent portion, not far from the equivalent of three giant blueberry-filled dumplings per person—our needs, that is. We can only recommend the traditional event “Blueberry Feast under Pradědem”, which also includes markets and other joys.
Before spinning the wheels for the return trip, the range is 277 kilometers. Thirty less is enough to get to Prague. “That could work out,” we say to ourselves, even though we know that such a low reserve cannot be relied upon. We prefer to turn off the air conditioning and adapt our driving style to the desire to reach the metropolis without charging at night. In vain.
Although we save the car as much as possible, we already know that we will not make it to Prague, and if we do, then with a dangerously low remaining battery. In addition, just as it is not advisable to charge up to one hundred percent – many manufacturers recommend charging up to 80 percent – it is far from ideal to discharge down to units of percent.
That is also why we prefer to choose the fast PRE station in Vrbová Lhota and they offer the option of half-hour charging. We exchange our 180 crowns for increasing the range from 90 kilometers to 200.
We arrive in Prague with a lingering feeling of satiety, with 625 kilometers behind us, 86 kilometers of driving range remaining and an average consumption of 26 kilowatt hours per hundred kilometers for the entire trip.
BMW’s flagship electric car left a very good impression, for which the manufacturer will not pay. The car impresses both with its luxuriously crafted interior, which is simple, clean and airy, and with its futuristic exterior, which is significantly different from previous BMWs. No wonder. With the advent of electromobility, cars embody a new design language for cars, which obviously does not want to have much in common with the typical features of conventional cars.