The first fully-electric BMW X model has just broken cover. The BMW iX3 – which you can probably tell from the name – combines BMW’s latest-generation electric drivetrain with the familiar body architecture of the X3 mid-sized SUV.
This makes the X3 SUV the first BMW to ever to feature a petrol or diesel engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or all-electric drive system in a single model range. Additionally, the iX3 will serve as a precursor to two other fully electric models – the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4, slated to arrive in 2021.
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 is 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: 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), and in case you were wondering, power is sent to the rear wheels in classic BMW fashion. Adaptive suspension is also fitted as standard.
As for the aesthetics, the iX3 LED headlights, three-zone automatic climate control with pre‑heating and pre-conditioning, automatic tailgate operation, panoramic glass sunroof, Driving Assistant Professional and ambient lighting are provided under its “Inspiring” trim package.
The optional “Impressive” equipment line also brings 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 familiar 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.
The new BMW iX3 will be the brand’s first model to also be produced for export at the Shenyang manufacturing facility in China. Market launch will begin in China later in 2020.