BMW unveiled its pure-electric SUV, the iX3, at the Beijing auto show that is being developed as a rival to the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron quattro and Mercedes-Benz EQ C. At the heart of the concept iX3 is a newly developed electric powertrain that has an overall capacity of over 70kWh, generates 274hp and goes 400km.
The concept’s styling leans heavily on the standard X3. Among the unique design elements serving to differentiate it from existing petrol and diesel versions of the third-generation SUV is a newly styled grille, reprofiled bumpers, aerodynamically optimized wheels shod with low rolling resistance tyres, subtle additions to the sills and a new rear diffuser element.
The iX3 concept SUV gets the German car maker’s fifth-generation electric motor with what has been described to our sister publication, Autocar UK, as fourth-generation battery cells supplied by Korean battery specialist, Samsung.
While BMW has not yet confirmed details to the drive process for its latest electric powered model, the X in the Concept iX3’s name suggests the production version will receive permanent four-wheel drive.
As with the upcoming Audi e-tron quattro, the new BMW iX3 features a control unit that permits its battery to be charged at so-called fast-charging stations generating up to 150kW. This, says the German car maker, allows it to be fully charged in just 30 minutes.
Further details made official by BMW at the iX3’s unveiling reveal its powertrain is more compact than the existing i3’s, with the electric motor, transmission and power electrics grouped together in a single component. BMW also says its new electric motor can be produced without any rare earths.