► Production version of Concept iX3
► Based on the X3 SUV
► 282bhp and 279mi range
You’re looking at the new BMW iX3, an all-electric SUV to restart Munich’s BEV push. Featuring the fifth-generation of BMW’s eDrive under a slightly modified X3 body, it marks the first time a BMW will be with BEV, PHEV, petrol or diesel powertrains – something which Munich is furiously working to make the new normal across its range.
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It’ll be built in China and UK deliveries begin in the summer in 2021. The BMW iX3 is available to order now, with two models available: the Premier Edition, at £61,900 and Premier Edition Pro for £3,000 more. At this price point, you can also get into a Jaguar I-Pace, or, if you head down the PHEV route, a BMW X5 X45e.
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The iX3 builds on the eDrive technology originally debuted in the i3; battery density has increased and charging capacity has improved, while the motor and power electronics have also benefited from 7 years of R&D. BMW says this system – which is 30% more power dense than that in BMW’s existing BEVs – will later be fitted to the iX5 (neé INEXT).
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In the iX3, that means 282bhp, 295lb ft of torque, a 0-62mph sprint of 6.8 seconds, and a 112mph top speed. When combined with an 80KWh battery – of which 74kWh is used – the iX3 has a 279-mile range. A single, permanently excited synchronous e-motor on the rear axle features here – something BMW says uses no rare metals in it, unlike other e-motors. Said e-motor will also be used in the i4 and iX5.
When it comes to AC charging, three-phase charging of up to 11kW is available, while DC rapid charging of up to 150kW means the 400V battery can be charged from 0-80% capacity in 34 minutes. You can top up 62 miles of range within 10 minutes.
Prices and specs
Considering the entry-level X3 costs just over £40,000, BMW promise the iX3 will come with more equipment for the higher price. This includes 20-inch black alloys, powered tailgate, adaptive suspension, panoramic roof, 12.3-inch digital cockpit screen and a 10.25 inch infotainment screen running BMW Live Cockpit Professional, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Premier Pro comes with Harmon Kardon stereo, head-up display and what BMW has named IconicSounds Electric: essentially, the iX3 will make a noise every time you do something - whether it's accelerating or braking. For some, one of the perks of an electric car is the relative silence on offer compared to one with an internal-combustion engine, but here, BMW appear to want to break the peace.
They've name-dropped Hans Zimmer when it comes to the sound composition, but in reality, it's only for the sound effect after you press the start-stop button - the driving sounds themselves are by BMW's engineers. Drive soundtracks from the composer will be available in electrified BMWs at a later date, so, if you really like the idea of making a dramatic entrance everywhere you go, this might be the closest you'll get.
Otherwise exterior paint colours include black, blue, red and grey, with brushed aluminium or gloss back highlights on offer.
Of course, that range depends on a variety of factors, but can be nudged on the longer-side by upping user-controlled regen system with a choice of low, mdeium and high settings.
To differentiate itself from the X3, the iX3 wears BMW’s ‘look it’s electric’ body kit with a closed grille and flashes of blue. It’s good for a drag coefficient of 0.29. The aerodynamic wheels are also claimed to have reduced drag coefficient by around 5% over an equivalent X3.
Further electric car reading
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