BMW says its first all-electric SUV is still on track to hit roads this year
BMW has confirmed the upcoming, all-electric iX3 SUV will have an estimated range of around 273 miles on a single charge according to WLTP standards, and has issued images of its upcoming electric SUV rolling off the production line.
That new figure would place it ahead of rivals like the Mercedes EQC and Audi e-tron for outright range, both of which have a maximum of roughly 250 miles on a full battery.
The BMW iX3 will enter full production in late summer, at the company’s dedicated facility in Shenyang, China. BMW expects to have the all-electric SUV on sale in 2020, with first customer deliveries expected to arrive towards the end of the year.
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BMW is yet to officially unveil the iX3, but our previously spied development mules give us a good indication of how the finished product will look. Revisions over the combustion-engined X3 are minor, stretching to a pair of blanked-off kidney grilles, fresh vertical intakes for the front bumper and a tweaked rear end, which removes the redundant exhaust cutout.
The production model is also expected to receive a set of aerodynamically efficient alloy wheels which, along with the body work revisions, should help to eke the maximum amount of range from the electric SUV’s battery pack.
The iX3 marks a significant shift in BMW’s electric car strategy as, unlike the i3 and i8 (both of which are built on dedicated underpinnings), it’s an all-electric model which is based on an existing model in the firm’s line-up.
BMW has also registered trademarks for the nameplates iX1 through to iX9, suggesting the iX3 could be the first in a broad range of similarly designed, modular, all-electric BMW SUVs. What’s more, after the arrival of the iX3, BMW has promised that it’ll be able to fit any new series model with an all-electric powertrain, thanks to the firm’s flexible new platforms.
New 2020 BMW iX3: power, range and performance
The new iX3 will be powered by BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive electric technology, which groups the electric motor, transmission and electronics into a single, bolt-in component. BMW says the new system serves up significant packaging advantages, as well as offering support for larger, more power-dense battery packs.
The battery pack has a claimed capacity of “over” 70kWh, while BMW’s latest-generation electric motor is rated at 266bhp. As such, if BMW decided to offer the iX3 with a dual-motor, all-wheel drive powertrain, the car’s maximum power output could stand at 532bhp.
Maximum range stands at around 273 miles, which is better than either the Audi e-tron or the Mercedes EQC – although, it’s around 20 miles less than the Jaguar I-Pace. However, BMW is yet to push this figure through the final stages of WLTP homologation, so it could drop slightly on the production model.
Like the Audi e-tron, the iX3 will offer support for 150kW fast charging from the factory, thanks to clever battery cooling and temperature control tech. It means that an 80 per cent recharge will be possible in less than half an hour, when plugged into a commercially available rapid-charging station.
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