BMW is going to launch an electric version of the X3 crossover next year and, what is interesting, at once in fully electric form, bypassing a plug-in hybrid variant.
The BMW iX3 Concept has been presented at this year Beijing Motor Show. The series car prototypes are being tested and caught the eyes of car paparazzi.
The BMW iX3 is the first in the wide range of the brand’s EVs, which will follow, from iX1 to iX9, including forthcoming i4 and i8. The carmaker strives for giving an all-electric modification to its core models.
The iX3 will challenge to the Jaguar i-Pace, Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQ models. BMW will produce it at Shenyang plant (China).It’ll possibly be the first vehicle of Chinese production to go on sale in Europe.
Front and rear bumpers are hidden under the camouflage, as well as the ‘linked kidney’ grill. It may hint at changes made to improve aerodynamics and individual looks. At the same time, the ‘aerodynamically optimized’ alloy wheels on the concept are not seen on the pre-production car.
The company promises not to change the future i-models design radically and to easily restyle the parts. The iX3’s front bumper incorporates thinner ventilation intakes and smoother lines than the regular X3 with its more aggressive surface. Its side skirts and rear bumper are reprofiled.
As claimed by BMW, future vehicles will be built on the platform adapted for all drive and powertrain layouts, that is, the company could offer all new models in conventional, hybrid and electric forms. Automated driving, connectivity and digital services will be improved.
Technology, driving range
The key feature for the BMW whole car range electrification is an integrated module including a 270-hp engine, a gearbox and operating electronics in a single compact unit. The motor itself will not use rare-earth materials in its construction.
The iX3’s claimed electric driving range provided by a 70 kWh battery is more than 400 km (249 miles) according to WLTP. The battery is suitable for 150 kW fast charging stations, so it charges to 100% in half an hour.
Price, sales start
The production car will enter the market by 2020. There is still no information about pricing, but the iX3 will be more expensive than the conventional fuel powered versions. The current BMW X3 starts from $35,900 in the USA.