The first fully-electric BMW X model, the 2021 BMW iX3 has just been launched in Singapore, marking its second entry into the ASEAN market after Thailand about a month ago. It is made at BMW's Automotive Plant in Shenyang, China and imported into ASEAN.
The fully electric variant of the current generation X3 (G01) is priced at SGD252,888 (RM784,950) and also includes the compulsory Certificate of Entitlement (COE) as part of its package.
At that price, the Singaporean iX3 is about SGD2,000 (RM6k) cheaper than its sDrive20i xLine cousin and SGD48,000 (RM149k) lower than the plug-in hybrid XDrive30e xLine.
The iX3 is cheaper than what it is supposed to be, thanks to its qualification for Singapore's A1 Vehicular Emission Scheme (VES) banding, which benefits from a higher VES rebate of SGD25,000 (RM77,557). This A1 banding was revised in January 2021 and now offers a higher rebate than the previous SGD20,000 (RM62k).
Under the metal of the iX3 are the latest versions of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology, and high-voltage battery, all of which have been developed in-house by BMW, with learnings taken from its first-ever full EV, the i3.
The iX3's electric motor, power electronics and transmission are arranged in a central housing for the first time. Juicing its drivetrain is the fifth-generation BMW eDrive high-voltage battery with the latest battery cell technology (utilising lithium and cobalt), which develops 80 kWh enabling an operating range of up to 460 kilometres in the statutory new WLTP test cycle.
Energy is sent to a fifth-generation current-excited synchronous motor which punches out 286 hp and peak torque of 400 Nm. Claimed acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is in 6.8 seconds (comparable to that of a BMW X3 30i at 6.4 seconds), with an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h.
The system allows for varying degrees of recuperation, including one pedal operation (with high recuperation). In case you were wondering, power is sent to the rear wheels in classic BMW fashion. Adaptive suspension is also fitted as standard.
Claimed charging times are 7.5 hours at 11 kW (100%) for the wall box charging and 34 mins at 150 kW (80%) for DC fast charging.
Since the iX3 in Singapore is the 'Impressive' variant, it will come with 20-inch light-alloy wheels, acoustic glazing, sport seats, Vernasca leather trim, BMW Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant Plus and Harman Kardon surround sound.
As for safety, the iX3 is supplied as standard with the usual array of ABS, ASC and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), a Dry Braking function and HDC (Hill Descent Control). Six airbags are supplied as standard.
Suppose we do get it in Malaysia in the future, we could also be seeing a pretty good price for it if we base it on what MARii (Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute), CEO Datuk Madani Sahari said a month ago. The MARii CEO said Malaysia is ready to offer a "handsome amount" of tax incentives to accelerate the country's electric vehicle (EV) plan.
He said that the stimulus would cover carmakers and EV component manufacturers where they would see a huge tax reduction for excise duty, import duty and sales tax.
The Bernama report also saw Madani saying that EV buyers would generally enjoy direct incentives such as lower road tax, the benefit of a green parking scheme, toll rebates, and rebates on the installation of home chargers.
Malaysia's EV policy was supposed to be brought to the cabinet for approval in June and announced to the public in July. We presume BMW Malaysia is just waiting for the outcome to see what incentives they can take advantage of for the iX3.
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