The new BMW iX3 has been finally revealed in its final production form as the brand’s first electric SUV, following numerous leaks and reports.
The electric BMW is based on the current X3 and features a fifth-generation eDrive system, including an 80 kWh battery pack and an electric motor with 282 HP and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. BMW says that the iX3 will be capable of traveling up to 285 miles (460 km) on a full charge per the WLTP.
Power goes to the rear wheels only, giving the new iX3 a “classical BMW driving experience”. 0-62 mph (100 km/h) comes in 6.8 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited to 112 mph (180 km/h).
The new BMW iX3 is compatible with up to 150 kW of DC fast-charging, during which it can recharge from 0 to 80 percent in just 34 minutes. A 10-minute charge at a fast charger will also add 62 miles (100 km) to the iX3’s driving range.
The exterior styling comes with a number of model-specific features to help the BMW iX3 stand out more from its ICE-powered siblings; the front kidney grille is partially blocked off to reduce air resistance while a set of aerodynamically efficient 19-inch alloy wheels reduce the vehicle’s drag coefficient by around 5 percent, adding around 6 miles (10 km) to the iX3’s driving range. Overall, the iX3’s drag coefficient is 0.29.
The blue accent theme continues inside the new BMW iX3, with plenty of BMW i logos dotted around and model-specific displays for the EV powertrain. Customers will get to choose between five interior trims, standard or sports seats, and six exterior metallic color options. These include Carbon Black metallic, Sophisto Grey brilliant effect metallic, Mineral White metallic, Phytonic Blue metallic, Piedmont Red metallic, and Cashmere Silver metallic. All models will come as standard with adaptive suspension, featuring electronically controlled dampers.
BMW takes great pride at the iX3’s electric powertrain; the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission are arranged in a common housing for the first time, making it more compact and easier to use across different types of vehicles. BMW also says that their fifth-generation eDrive technology is 30 percent more power-dense, compared to the current eDrive technology in existing electrified models.
BMW is also proud of their cooling/heating system for the eDrive unit; a separate auxiliary heater takes care of the high-voltage battery pack, even at temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, while another liquid cooling/heating system ensures ideal temperature control for the electric motor, power electronics, and storage unit.
The new BMW iX3 will be the first of three new electric models the German carmaker has in store for us; the other two is of course the upcoming i4 and the production version of the iNext SUV, both of which are set to arrive by the end of 2021. It’ll also be the company’s first car to be produced for export at the Shenyang factory in China.
The new BMW iX3 will become available later this year in China, with Europe to follow in 2021. BMW’s electric SUV won’t come to North America, with customers there having to wait until the i4 and iNext models arrive.