The new BMW X3 range will offer customers the possibility to buy a full electric version of the vehicle, the first iX3 ever. The new model will be launched with an exclusive Premier edition for the UK market in the summer of next year. Pricing and standard specification details will be revealed in autumn 2020, with pre-ordering opening at the same time.
The iX3 will be equipped with the BMW Group’s fifth-generation eDrive technology, which will combine BMW’s latest electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery.
The electric motor, transmission and power electronics will now be housed all together in a single place. The electric motor in the new BMW iX3 works according to the principle of a current-excited synchronous motor, without the use of magnets. This design eliminates the use of rare earth materials in the motor. It will produce 286 hp and a peak torque of 295 lb-ft, which will propel the car from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds with the speed electronically limited to 112 mph.
The car will have a battery with a gross energy content of 80 kWh, of which 74 kWh is utilized, so the BMW iX3 will be able to offer a decent range of up to 285 miles (WLTP test cycle).
The new all-electric model will also be equipped with an innovative new charging unit, which sends power to both the 400V battery and the 12V on-board power supply. When charging using alternating current, it enables both single-phase and three-phase charging at up to 11 kW. When the vehicle is plugged into a direct current rapid-charging station the outputs can be up to 150 kW, meaning that the battery can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in just 34 minutes. Moreover 62 miles of range can be added in a mere 10 minutes.
The highly technological battery will be positioned low down in the underbody integrated into the SUV’s flexible vehicle architecture. This will lower the car’s centre of gravity by around 7.5 centimetres compared with the combustion engine BMW X3 models, enhancing lateral dynamics. The vehicle is also equipped with the standard adaptive suspension that includes electronically controlled dampers, with characteristics that adapt to the road surface at any given time.
The front apron and BMW kidney grille have a largely enclosed design, while the rear end has been particularly sculpted with a view to reducing air resistance. Also, aerodynamically designed light-alloy wheels help to control the flow of air around the vehicle. The aerodynamic wheels make their debut on the new BMW iX3 and reduce its drag coefficient by around 5% over an equivalent vehicle with conventional light-alloy wheels. All these details allow the all-electric SUV to have a drag coefficient of only 0.29, which is commendable in this class of vehicle.
BMW made sure to give the best experience possible to its customers for the interiors as well, with the standard-fit BMW Live Cockpit Professional that offers a fully-digital screen grouping, comprising a high-resolution 12.3in instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a 10.25in Central Control Display. The enhanced intuitive multimodal interaction allows the driver to take their pick of control interface for the situation at hand: Control Display touchscreen, iDrive Controller, multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, voice control or BMW gesture control.
The new iX3 model has been revealed to the world just weeks after we reported that the BMW board is finally deciding to start to create dedicated EV platforms, changing its all-electric strategy.