2021 BMW iX3 Starts To Take Shape

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This is entirely new ground for the automaker.

It's no secret BMW is preparing to launch an all-electric version of its very successful X3 SUV, dubbed the iX3. Set to go into production sometime next year in China, the world market BMW iX3 will officially be a 2021 model. Today, the German automaker has released some new preliminary data in regards to the EV SUV's range and power output, though it's important to note these figures are not US market-specific information. Still, they are good figures to go by for now.

For starters, the iX3 will utilize a 74-kWh battery pack to ensure zero emissions for upwards of 273 miles on a single charge. We should note these numbers are measured by Europe's WLTP cycle, meaning the EPA's eventual ratings will probably be a bit lower.

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Power will come from BMW's fifth-generation eDrive electric powertrain system with the automaker stressing that it developed all powertrain components in-house. The technology is scalable in regards to power and energy content, so it can be further utilized in future vehicles and even segments. Case in point: the upcoming i4 sedan and iNext SUV.

BMW claims the iX3, (again, this is for Europe) will produce a total of 286 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of instant torque. This power is generated via a single electric motor. Despite some earlier reports claiming otherwise, the iX3 will be rear-wheel-drive, at least initially. We wouldn't rule out an all-wheel-drive variant at some point. The iX3 will also boast a low power consumption of less than 20 kWh per 62 miles, thus allowing for a relatively compact high-voltage battery pack.

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When the iX3 hits the market, the X3 will become BMW's first model sold with both conventional gasoline and diesel engines (the latter are only available overseas), along with plug-in hybrid and all-electric drive. Unlike the BMW X3, which is currently built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the iX3, as previously noted, is set to be manufactured in Shenyang, China by the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive.

The iX3, joined by the i4 and iNext, are just three of 12 fully electric models BMW is planning to launch by 2023.

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