Behold the BMW iX3 before you're supposed to see it.
Last month, BMW lifted the covers off the Concept i4, previewing the Bavarian automaker's upcoming Tesla Model 3 rival. But with BMW focusing so much attention on the i4, you'd be forgiven for forgetting about the upcoming iX3. Back in 2018, BMW presented the iX3 Concept at the Beijing Auto Show previewing a future rival to the Audi e-tron, Tesla Model Y, and Mercedes EQC, but the production version still hasn't been unveiled. Unfortunately for BMW, however, it looks like the production iX3 has leaked online ahead of its official reveal.
Our spies caught some camouflaged prototypes undergoing testing earlier this year, these leaked photos show the production version completely undisguised for our viewing pleasure.
Shared on Instagram, the photos show a white BMW iX3 with the same aerodynamic lightweight wheels BMW recently teased. As expected, the BMW X3 looks almost identical to its combustion-powered counterpart, but the blue BMW i accents help distinguish it.
The design also hasn't changed much since the concept debuted two years ago with the exception of the rodent-like grille, which has been replaced with a more conventional, sensibly-sized split kidney grille. It's a stark contrast to the giant grille seen on the BMW Concept i4 that stretches almost the entire height of the front fascia.
Based on the concept, the BMW iX3's single electric motor is expected to produce 285 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. A 74-kWh battery will provide the electric crossover with a range of 273 miles on a single charge based on Europe's WLTP cycle. We expect the EPA rating to be lower when it eventually gets tested in the US. Initially, the BMW iX3 will only be offered with rear-wheel drive, but an all-wheel-drive variant could join the lineup later in the model's lifecycle.
Being BMW's first-ever electric crossover, we have no doubt the iX3 will be a huge sales hit. Now that official photos have seemingly leaked, the BMW iX3 should make its world debut online sooner rather than later before it goes on sale later this year as a 2021 model.