The first BMW iX3 has rolled off the production line.
BMW's electric onslaught has reached a new milestone, as the Bavarian automaker has announced its first fully electric SUV, the iX3, has entered production at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) in China, where it's being built on the same production line as the combustion-powered BMW X3.
"Today, we begin production of the BMW iX3, the first pure electric model from our core BMW brand. With a production system like this, specialised for high quality, we are able to deliver what customers worldwide demand from premium vehicles," said Franz Decker, head of BBA's Technology and Production division.
Strict quality measures are in place to ensure the BMW iX3 lives up to customer expectations, as the electric SUV undergoes 128 mechanical tests and 994 software functionality tests to "ensure the high quality of high-voltage batteries throughout the entire lifecycle." In addition, BMW performs 140 functional tests to check every aspect of the SUV during acceleration on different road conditions and rocky roads.
Powering the BMW iX3 is an 80-kWh battery pack and an electric motor producing a combined 282 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the rear wheels.
This setup enables the electric SUV to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds and achieve a limited top speed of 112 mph. On a full charge, the iX3 offers an electric driving range of 285 miles based on the WLTP cycle. This equates to around 250 miles on the US EPA cycle, which falls short of the Tesla Model Y Long Range.
Customer deliveries of the BMW iX3 will start before the end of the year. While the iX3 will be sold in Europe and China, it won't be offered to the US market. Instead, BMW is prioritizing the upcoming launches of the i4 electric sedan and the iNext luxury electric SUV in the US.