BMW iNext undergoes winter trial tests Drive, Chassis and Suspension Components under extreme conditions

Der elektrisch angetriebene iNext wird im Wintertest in Nordschweden auf Herz und Nieren getestet.
The electrically driven iNext is put through its paces in the winter test in northern Sweden.

The BMW iNext takes the next hurdle of its path to serial production maturity. The winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden is the setting for the current complete vehicle tests, which serve to optimise and examine all drive, chassis and suspension components under extreme climate and road conditions.

The series production version of the BMW iNext will be manufactured in the plant in Dingolfing from 2021. The car combines a purely electric drive, intelligent all-wheel-drive system and model-specific suspension technology. These components are currently being winter-tested together under real-world conditions at the polar circle for the first time. 

The test drives with the camouflaged vehicle are being conducted on snow-covered roads and ice-covered lakes, where low temperatures and minimal road friction dominate everyday testing. The cold poses a challenge, above all, for the electric motor, the high-voltage battery and the cooling system of the car. The testing engineers also attach particular importance to the eDrive energy management system. They analyse the way in which the extreme sub-zero temperatures affect how the energy storage system recharges, how electricity is transferred to the electric motor, how the electrical system is supplied with energy and how the heating and air condition systems respond. The power transmission and suspension regulation systems are also tested far beyond what is standard in day-to-day traffic conditions. On closed-off, ice-covered surfaces electronic regulation can already be provoked at low driving speeds. For the engineers this means that they can, for example, analyse the interaction of the all-wheel-drive system, which was especially developed for the electric drive, and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control). They can then continuously optimise the processes under exactly reproducible conditions. The steering and braking system are also fine-tuned under these conditions. Just like the deceleration performance of the brakes, the energy recuperation when coasting must be precisely adapted to each driving situation. The tracks around Arjeplog also provide the ideal testing ground for these trials. The BMW iNext is confronted with the entire range of dynamic driving challenges when winter-testing on gravel tracks, dry asphalt and extremely slippery polished ice surfaces.