BMW's new electric crossover looks astonishingly close to the 2018 concept.
The world's major automakers appear to be going all-in on battery-electric propulsion, with few exceptions, and these days, a long-range electric crossover seems like about the surest bet you can make for a new product. (See: Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-Tron, Nissan Ariya, Ford Mustang Mach-E.) Such is the automotive landscape that will see Bavaria's premier automaker, BMW, launch a new pure-electric version of the compact X3 crossover: the BMW iX3.
The concept version of the crossover dates all the way back to Auto China 2018, but now, after two long years and one global pandemic, BMW is finally ready to show the production version in full. Almost.
The 2021 BMW iX3 will officially be unveiled online Tuesday, July 14 at 4:00 am Eastern Time. That's 10:00 am in Munich, where BMW is headquartered, and 4:00 pm in Shenyang, China, which is where the BMW iX3 will be built. In fact, BMW's factory there has already built some 200 pre-production iX3s.
The teaser image that BMW shared with its date and time announcement gives us our first "official" look at the production BMW iX3, although a few photos leaked last month laid the new model's design bare. From those images, as well as from this teaser, we can see that the design hasn't changed much at all from the 2018 concept car. Even the same headlight shape and graphics remain.
About the most notable change to the BMW iX3's design, in fact, is that the front grille space no longer flows freely between the left and right "kidneys," and instead has a vertical partition that brings it more in-line with BMW's traditional grille designs.
Unfortunately, the 2021 BMW iX3 will not be offered in the US market, it's been confirmed, due to its rear-drive-only configuration and limited range; BMW's 273-mile range estimate is by European WLTP testing standards, and the EPA rating would inevitably be far, far lower, putting it at a severe disadvantage. That said, we could see a scenario where BMW extends the battery size to suit the US market, or at least applies lessons learned to future pure-electric vehicles offered in the US.
The regular gas-powered BMW X3, though? That's not going anywhere.