BMW has opened pre-orders for its iX3 electric SUV, which will arrive next summer priced from £61,900.
Marked out from the conventional X3 with blue detailing, it’s powered by the fifth incarnation of BMW’s eDrive technology, which will also provide the basis for the iNext and i4 models from 2021. The latest-gen eDrive features a new drive system unit, generating 286hp with peak torque of 400Nm that BMW can be sustained at high revs. The 0-62mph sprint is taken care of in 6.8 seconds; comparable to the X3 xDrive30i and top speed is electronically limited to 112mph. The iX3 is also rear-wheel drive only.
The electric motor in the new-gen eDrive has been designed for much higher power density; BMW says it’s up to 30% greater than that of existing fully electric vehicles within the group portfolio. It’s also said to be up to 93% efficient, compared with under 40% for combustion engines.
Alongside a more efficient motor, the iX3 uses a much more energy dense battery that’s lighter relative to its size and capacity. Fully charged, the 80kWh battery (74kWh net) offers a range of up to 279 miles and can take a rapid charge of up to 150kW, giving 80% battery capacity in 34 minutes. It also enables AC charging at up to 11kW.
The iX3 also carries over the BMW Maps navigation system from the i3 but with improved routing and arrival times. The system provides services such as navigation with range display on the map and detailed information on public charging stations.
The iX3 also offers so-called adaptive recuperation, which modulates the regenerative braking to match the prevailing road conditions, based on data from the navigation system and the driver assistance system sensors. Drivers can also choose a high, medium or low Brake Energy Regeneration setting.
Boot space stands at 510 litres with the rear seats up, rising to a maximum of 1,560 litres; both down by just 40 litres compared to conventionally powered X3 variants. BMW says interior space is on a par with them.
Two trim levels will be offered in the UK: the entry-level Premier Edition and the Premier Edition Pro, which is priced from £64,900 OTR. Both are positioned to offer significantly increased standard equipment compared to the X3 to heighten the iX3’s trailblazing focus.
Standard features include wireless phone charging, heated front seats and BMW’s latest driver assistance technology, including Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Professional. iX3 also gets sun protect glazing, ambient lighting and electric seats.
The iX3 Premier Edition Pro also comes with head-up display, Harman Kardon surround sound, Gesture Control, Parking Assistant Plus, automatic high beam assistant, comfort access and lumbar support.
The iX3 also debuts BMW’s IconicSounds Electric, which has been developed in collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer and provides bespoke sound patterns to match different driving states.
Alongside the UK and Europe, the iX3 will also be sold in various global markets – it’s the first model to be built for export at the Shenyang plant in China, which is operated by the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive.
Deliveries in the UK start summer 2021.