BMW's all-electric iX3 hits production: A vision of things to come
BMW has announced the production model of its all-electric iX3 crossover, the first consumer car to feature the company's fifth-generation eDrive electric drivetrain. Thirty percent more power-dense and 20 percent more energy-dense than the previous version, this efficient drivetrain integrates the motor, power electronics and transmission into a single unit. It'll underpin a number of electric models in the coming years, including upcoming iNEXT and i4 models in 2021.
Looking very similar to the Concept iX3 we saw in 2018, this new electric model gives the X3 platform an extraordinary range of engine options, from petrols, diesels and plug-in hybrids all the way to a fully electric experience.
The eDrive system delivers a practical 210 kW (286 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque with the pedal down, and its 80 kWh underfloor battery pack delivers a WLTP cycle range of 460 km (285 miles). A DC fast-charge capability up to 150 kW means that drivers can stick 100 km (62 miles) worth of range into the car in 10 minutes, or go from 0-80 percent in 34 minutes on longer drives.
It'll tackle the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint in 6.8 seconds, which won't blow anyone's skirt up, but it's snappy enough around town. Top speed is limited to 180 km/h (112 mph), and while that might annoy German drivers, it's probably more than enough for the vast majority of iX3 buyers.
If you decide to throw it around a bit, the standard adaptive suspension and rear wheel drive should make this a decent sporty handler. And if you're more interested in range and economy, there are multiple levels of regenerative braking available, from "let me coast, recuperation be damned" to "I wanna drive with just one pedal."
Standard spec includes LED headlights, three-zone automatic climate control, an automatic tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting and the Driving Assistant Professional package, which includes adaptive cruise control all the way down to a standstill, steering and lane control assist, lane change warnings and lane departure warnings. Presumably some other bits and pieces will be unlockable through the ConnectedDrive Store, possibly on a subscription basis.
The above standard equipment relates to the "Inspiring" equipment line, which can be upgraded to "Impressive" if you want things like 20-inch light alloy rims, adaptive headlights, front sports seats with lumbar support, HUD, auto parking and rear view cameras.
Visually, well, it's an X3. The front grille is flatter, and decorated with some small vents, and there are blue highlights around the grille, the lower door sills and the rear underbody where you'd expect the exhausts to be. Those and the origami-fold wheel rims are the key visual differentiators; otherwise it's a pretty conservative look.
The iX3 will debut in China, where it's being manufactured, later this year, with other markets to follow. Pricing has not been announced. See a video below.