Featuring fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, the up-coming BMW iNEXT will set new benchmarks in sportiness, efficiency and range for battery-powered vehicles. But before full series production can be achieved, the advanced Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) must complete the next chapter of its overall vehicle testing; and so, it now heads to the Kalahari in Southern Africa.

Exposed to extreme heat and solar radiation, permanent dust formation and off-road terrain with its sand, pebble and gravel tracks –  the iNEXT will really be putting BMW Group’s technology to the test.

BMW iNext back view in the desert kicking up a dust cloud


BMW is evolving the very idea of testing to meet the needs and capabilities of their next generation vehicles, like the BMW iNEXT. In this ‘hot’ phase, functional safety, durability and reliability is checked by testing the drive and suspension components, while also looking at the car’s bodywork, interior, driver assistance systems and digitalisation technology.

These ‘hot’ climate tests are an integral part to ensuring that the BMW iNEXT prototype is subjected virtually (in time lapse) to the stress of an entire vehicle service life.

BMW iNext front right view in the desert


Miramas in Southern France, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Winter Center in Arjeplog, Sweden to the desert and Savanna regions in the North West of South Africa; every new BMW model finds serial maturity via the BMW Group proving grounds. Surfaces alternating between sand dunes, gravel tracks and off-road passages pose an exceptional challenge even to the intelligent four-wheel drive system of the BMW iNEXT.

BMW iNext front view with splash

In searing temperatures, the integrated cooling concept for the high-voltage battery, the electric motor and the vehicle electronics of the BMW iNEXT stands the test. What’s more, the air conditioning, which uses thermal pump technology, its control system and all vehicle electronics are subjected to the extreme desert conditions to prove their worthiness.

BMW iNEXT front 3/4 view

During extensive heat tests, the vehicle is repeatedly exposed to the heat of the sun for hours and later cooled down. In this way, the developers test not only the operability of the electrical systems, but also the temperature stability of the materials used in the interior.

BMW iNEXT side view


Production of the series version of the BMW iNEXT will commence at the BMW Dingolfing plant in 2021. Designed as a modern Sports Activity Vehicle, the new model combines the latest innovations defined by the BMW Group in its corporate NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy for the future fields D-ACES (Design, Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services).

BMW iNEXT front right on hot road in the desert

Click here for more information about the new BMW iNEXT.

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