BMW has taken the wraps off its first all-electrical SUV the iX3. It takes its design on the G01 X3, making this the first model in BMW’s range to be available with a petrol or diesel engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or all-electric drive system.
The iX3 will be built in China and will be sold both in there and in Europe. Deliveries of the vehicle are expected to start by the end of 2020 and it will carry a price tag of EUR 68,000 (about RM330,840).
On the outside, the iX3 is set apart from the X3 by covered grilles in front with air intakes at each corner of the front bumper and vents behind the front wheel arches. There are noticeable blue trim pieces on sections of the front grille, side sills and lower rear bumper, which used by BMW to signify the model runs on an electric drive.
Powering the iX3 is BMW’s 5th generation eDrive electric motor that has a maximum output of 286 hp and 400 Nm. It is said to have a top speed of 180km/h and travels from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.8 seconds. This is slightly slower than the X3 30i that does the sprint in 6.4 seconds. BMW claims the iX3 has a range of 460km on a single charge based on Europe’s WLTP standard.
It should be noted that iX3’s electric motor will also power the upcoming BMW i4 sedan and BMW iNext SUV.
BMW packed a 400V lithium-ion battery pack within the iX3 and it has a net energy capacity of 74kWh. The battery can be charged at a rate of 150kW using a DC fast-charging station, allowing it to charge from 0 to 80% in about 34 minutes. It is stated to take 7.5 hours to fully charge at 11kW with a 16-amp, 230-volt three-phase AC wall box.
Inside, the iX3 has ample room for five people and it is a luggage capacity of 510 litres with the seats in place. It can be expanded up to 1,560 litres with the seats stowed. The all-electric SUV comes equipped with BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional which comes with BMW’s maps and a personal assistant function. You are also able to pair your smartphone via Apple CarPlay. There are plans for Android Auto in a future update.
Apart from that, you get a variety of safety systems that come standard in the iX3 such as driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, head airbags for front and rear seats. There is also crash sensors and a tyre pressure indicator.
BMW will initially only offer the rear-wheel-drive version of the vehicle but we can expect an all-wheel-drive variant sometime in the future.
The iX3 has no shortage of different exterior finishes with six colours to choose from: Carbon Black metallic, Sophisto Grey brilliant effect metallic, Mineral White metallic, Phytonic Blue metallic, Piedmont Red metallic and Cashmere Silver metallic. For Phytonic Blue metallic and Piedmont Red metallic finishes, the signature blue BMW i detailing is replaced with Frozen Grey or Pearl-effect Chrome.
Incidentally, the iX3 is BMW’s first model to be manufactured in Shenyang, China under the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture for export.
You can catch the world premiere of the BMW iX3 in the video below.