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BMW iX3 Looks Ready To Battle The Mercedes EQC

Spy Shots / 2 Comments

BMW's first fully electric crossover is expected to have a range of 249 miles.

Next month, the highly anticipated Mercedes EQC and Audi e-Tron will finally break cover. These aren't the only German electric SUVs currently in development, however, as BMW is also preparing to unleash a fully electric version of the X3, expected to be called the iX3.

First previewed by a concept at Auto China, the iX3 is slated to launch in 2020 as BMW's first all-electric crossover to rival the Mercedes EQC, Audi e-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace and the first of many EVs based on existing BMW models. It will also be the automaker's third pure EV to launch after the facelifted i3 and the upcoming Mini E.

While the last prototype we saw looked practically identical to its combustion engine counterpart, this new one spotted by our spy photographers has been updated with production bodywork. Of course, you can still tell it's based on the X3, but the electric crossover features a new front fascia with a restyled bumper and grille hiding under the camouflage to help distinguish it. The lower front intake also closely resembles the concept, but it isn't clear if the production model will adopt the concept's polarizing rat-toothed grille. At the back, the rear bumper has also been modified since there's obviously no need for an exhaust system.

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Like the concept, the production BMW iX3 is expected to have a 70+ kWh lithium-ion battery pack that takes just 30 minutes to charge using a 150 kW fast-charging station and an electric motor producing around 270 horsepower. This enabled the concept to deliver a range of 249 miles on a single charge. Production will take place at BMW's China factory in Shenyang.