Kimiko Kidd
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BMW iNEXT Goes for a Spin in Sweden

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BMW iNEXT Winter Testing
Photo: BMW Group

In order to better understand the BMW iNEXT’s strengths and limitations, the BMW Group is testing the Sport Activity Vehicle in real-life icy conditions in Arjeplog, Sweden. During testing, the camouflaged, purely electric Sport Activity Vehicle will be but through its paces on snow-packed roads and frozen lakes.

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Slipping and sliding to safety

BMW plans to submit the iNEXT to a whole range of winter driving challenges, complete with gravel tracks, dry asphalt, and extremely slippery, polished surfaces. The rigorous testing is meant to push the BMW iNEXT far beyond its regular operating conditions, and it’s all in the name of science and safety.

Using the data from these tests, BMW engineers can fine-tune the iNEXT’s steering, braking, and automated driving systems. When the vehicle slips, BMW’s team can analyze how the intelligent all-wheel drive and Dynamic Stability Control systems respond. They’ll use that data to continuously optimize how the iNEXT safeguards its passengers. BMW’s engineers will also learn how the iNEXT’s drive, chassis, and suspension components perform under extreme climate and road conditions.

Optimizing the iNEXT’s EV technology

Extremely cold conditions pose special challenges to electric vehicles. One Idaho National Laboratory study found that cold weather can cut an EV’s range by 25 percent or more, compared to driving in moderate temperatures. Therefore, BMW’s engineers are gaining valuable insight into how iNEXT’s eDrive energy management system performs under sub-zero conditions. For instance, they’ll discover how bitterly cold temperatures impact the vehicle’s energy storage, electrical flow, and climate control systems.

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If you’re looking to get behind the wheel of a BMW iNEXT, there’s going to be a bit of a wait. Starting in 2021, the iNEXT will be manufactured in the automaker’s Dingolfing, Germany plant.

Source: BMW Group