Ahead of the Malaysia Autoshow 2023, we had the pleasure of being invited by BMW to view their largest portfolio of vehicles since 2015.
With multiple chargers placed around the BMW booths, it seemed like BMW would be going strong in electrifying its vehicle lineup for the foreseeable future.
First up was the undisputed star of the show, the First-Ever BMW iX1, which rolled in and made several rounds for the large crowd to get an eyeful.
Once parked, it was hard not to admire the gloss of the coating, which was also in an electrifying Portimao Blue shade.
The iX1 is an all-electric version of the popular X1 and is categorised as a compact sports activity vehicle (SAV), meant to offer users an active, on-the-go luxury lifestyle. In Malaysia, it will be offered as a sole xDrive30 M Sport variant.
On the front, it’s got a fierce front bumper in chrome, aluminium front slates, and new slender wrap-around adaptive LED headlights.
At the rear, you’ll find full-LED 3D taillights in a stylised L-shape. The iX1 has 19-inch 871M light alloy wheels in a double-spoke style.
Over on the inside, you’ve got a curved display that features a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and 10.7-inch control display that runs the BMW Operating System 8. The dashboard is also fitted with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional.
BMW IconicSounds Electric composed by Hans Zimmer brings some excitement to the usually quiet engine of electric vehicles.
You have several choices for interior upholstery, which includes Alcantara/Sensatec Black with Blue Contrast Stitching, Leather Vernasca Black, or Leather Vernasca Mocha.
The all-wheel drive iX1 is powered by an underfloor-mounted lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 64.7 kWh, which should give about 440km of range. It can go 0-100km in 5.6 seconds and its top speed is 180km/h.
The iX1 supports AC charging up to 11kW and DC fast charging up to 130kW, which BMW claims can charge the SAV up from 10-80% in just 29 minutes.
For this car, expect to pay RM272,370 on-the-road without insurance. If you want the optional five-year extended warranty and service package though, then the price tag will be RM285,800.
Each purchase gives vehicle owners an eight-year/160,000km warranty on the EV battery, roadside assistance, and more.
The iX1 comes in Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Cape York Green, M Portimao Blue, Storm Bay, and Space Silver.
Overall, this model seems suited for those who want a solid, eco-friendly family car, so for those who want a little more power and sportiness in their lives, perhaps the First-Ever BMW i4 M50 would be more attractive.
The i4’s sporty character can be seen through its M Aerodynamics package, black M rear spoiler, and black rear diffuser insert.
On the sides, you can’t miss the 20-inch 862 BMW Individual Aerodynamic Wheels in Bicolour, M Sport Brakes in Red High-Gloss, and the M High-gloss Shadowline with extended contents.
Inside, the M interior trim with Carbon Fibre trim finishers, M Anthracite Headliner, and features as such M Sport seats at the front, instrument panel in Sensatec, and electrical glass roof give the luxury car a sleek-looking interior.
The same BMW IconicSounds Electric gives this car its sporty engine sound too.
The i4 is powered by an 83.9 kWh lithium-ion battery (about 510km of range on a single charge) and can go from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Its top speed caps at 225km/h.
To maximise comfort while on the road, there’s the standard Adaptive M Suspension and shock absorbers with separate electronic control for each wheel.
It takes AC charging up to 11kW and DC charging up to 200kW, the latter of which will get your battery from 10-80% in 31 minutes.
The BMW i4 M50 starts from RM430,210, and adding on a five-year unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service programme will bring the price of the car to RM445,800. The battery will be covered by an eight-year/160,000 km battery warranty.
You can get the i4 M50 in Mineral White, Black Sapphire, M Brooklyn Grey, M Portimao Blue, and Sanremo Green, with interior upholstery in Leather Vernasca in Black with Blue Contrast Stitching, or Leather Vernasca in Cognac.
Though not a completely new release in Malaysia per se, the BMW iX xDrive50 Sport was also highlighted.
The electric SUV has a 111.5kWh lithium-ion battery that brings its range to 630km, and enables 0-100km/h acceleration in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 200km/h.
It can be charged with an 11kW AC charger or with 195kW DC fast charging that takes it from 10-80% in 35 minutes.
One major drawback for some might be the steep price tag though, which sits at RM528,430, or RM546,800 if you opt-in for a warranty and service package.
Also under the BMW Group, MINI showed off its all-electric 3 Door Cooper SE (2023) that has a 28.9-kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 232 km of range. It can go from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed of 150 km/h.
It will cost RM193,834 on-the-road without insurance, and with a four-year extended warranty and service package, goes up to RM199,164.
To incentivise local electric vehicle uptake, the government has extended a number of tax exemption deadlines.
For one, the current import duty and excise duty exemption for fully imported (CBU) EVs will now be extended until December 31, 2025, making the purchase of EVs much more viable and attractive.