A production version will arrive in 2020.
Between 2019 and 2025, BMW is planning to launch as many as 12 new electric vehicles, including electric versions of existing models outside of the i range. To preview its upcoming expansion, the automaker has presented the Concept iX3, an all-electric version of the X3 compact crossover. The concept previews a future production model that will be unleashed in 2020 to take on the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC and serve as the automaker’s third pure EV after the facelifted i3 and the upcoming production version of the Mini E.
Styling-wise, the Concept iX3 is clearly inspired by the standard X3, but features a modified kidney grille with blue accents, restyled bumpers, a new rear diffuser element, and aerodynamically-optimized alloy wheels to distinguish it. The redesigned grille will surely divide opinion among BMW fans: in contrast to the twin kidney grilles that have defined BMW cars over the years, the iX3’s grille is blanked out since electric cars obviously don’t need air cooling. The frame around the grille still remains, resulting in a similar shape to Kia’s tiger nose grille. At the heart of the iX3 is a newly developed electric powertrain that develops 270 horsepower.
That makes it more powerful than the standard gasoline-powered X3, but less powerful than the M40i. Combined with a 70kWh battery, BMW claims the Concept iX3 has an electric range of 249 miles under the new Worldwide Harmonised Light-Vehicle Test Procedure. When hooked up to a 150 kW fast-charging station, the electric SUV can be charged up in just 30 minutes. The iX3’s electric powertrain is also more compact than the unit used in the existing i3, with the electric motor, transmission and power electronics grouped into a single component. Its innovative design should significantly reduce production costs.
It can also be produced without any rare earth metals, meaning that BMW won’t be restricted by the material’s limited availability. The production version of the Concept iX3 will be produced in Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, China, and will be the first of many new upcoming BMW EVs based on its main lineup.