Ahead of the Malaysia Motor Show 2023, we were delighted to be invited by BMW to view their largest portfolio of vehicles since 2015.
With several chargers placed around the BMW booths, it looked like BMW would be strong in electrifying its car lineup for the foreseeable future.
First up was the undisputed star of the show, a first-ever BMW iX1 that swung around and did a few laps to get the big crowd to take notice.
Once parked, it was hard not to admire the gloss of the finish, which was also an electrifying Portimao Blue shade.
The iX1 is an all-electric version of the popular X1 and is classified as a compact sports utility vehicle (SAV) designed to offer users an active, luxurious lifestyle. In Malaysia, it will be offered as the only version of the xDrive30 M Sport.
At the front, it gets a fierce chrome front bumper, aluminum front fascia and new slim fit LED headlights.
At the rear, you’ll find full LED 3D taillights styled in an L shape. The iX1 features 19-inch 871M lightweight alloy wheels in a twin-spoke style.
Inside, you have a curved display that has a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch control screen that runs BMW Operating System 8. The dashboard also features BMW Live Cockpit Professional.
BMW IconicSounds Electric, created by Hans Zimmer, adds some excitement to the normally quiet engine of electric cars.
For the interior upholstery, you have several choices which include Alcantara/Sensatec Black with blue contrast stitching, Vernasca Black leather or Vernasca Mocha leather.
The all-wheel-drive iX1 is powered by a floor-mounted lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 64.7 kWh, which should provide a range of around 440 km. It can go from 0-100 km in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h.
The iX1 provides AC charging of up to 11kW and DC fast charging of up to 130kW, which BMW claims can charge the SAV from 10-80% in just 29 minutes.
Expect to pay RM272,370 on the road without insurance for this car. If you want the optional five-year extended warranty and maintenance package, the price 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.
All in all, this model is suitable for those who want a solid, eco-friendly family car, so for those who want a little more power and sportiness in their lives, the BMW i4 M50 might be more appealing for the first time.
The sporty character of the i4 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 two-tone, the M Sport brakes in high-gloss red and the M high-gloss shadow line with extensive content.
Inside, M interior trim in carbon fiber, M Anthracite Headliner and features like M Sport seats at the front, an instrument panel in Sensatec and a power glass roof give the luxury car a luxurious look.
The same BMW IconicSounds Electric also gives this car its sporty engine sound.
The i4 is powered by an 83.9kWh lithium-ion battery (about 510km range on a single charge) and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Its maximum speed is set at 225 km/h.
To maximize on-road comfort, there’s standard Adaptive M suspension and shock absorbers with individual electronic control for each wheel.
It requires AC charging up to 11kW and DC charging up to 200kW, the latter of which will take your battery from 10-80% in 31 minutes.
The BMW i4 M50 starts at RM430,210 and the addition of a five-year unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled maintenance program 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, interior upholstery in Vernasca leather with black-blue contrast stitching or Vernasca-cognac leather.
While not a brand new launch in Malaysia per se, the BMW iX xDrive50 Sport was also highlighted.
The electric SUV has a 111.5kWh lithium-ion battery that gives it a range of 630km and 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 a 195kW DC fast charger that takes 10-80% in 35 minutes.
One major drawback for some may be the hefty price tag, which comes in at RM528,430 or RM546,800 if you opt for the warranty and maintenance package.
Also under the BMW Group, MINI showcased its all-electric Cooper SE (2023) 3-door, which features a 28.9 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides a range of up to 232 km. It can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds, and the maximum speed is 150 km/h.
It will be priced at RM193,834 on-the-road without insurance, rising to RM199,164 with the four-year extended warranty and maintenance package.
To encourage local use of electric vehicles, the government has extended a number of tax exemption periods.
First of all, the existing import duty and excise duty exemption for fully imported (CBU) EVs will now be extended till December 31, 2025, making the purchase of EVs much more viable and attractive.