BMW Concept iX3 Pure-Electric SUV Debuts at Auto China 2018
BMW previewed its first pure-electric vehicle—the Concept iX3 SUV—at the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing this week. Defining its “Number One Next” strategy for automated, connected and electrified service, the new Concept iX3 compact premium SUV features BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology with new and more powerful batteries. BMW officials say a production iX3 could be ready by 2020, even before the debut of the BMW iNext and i4 in 2021. Plans include export to U.S. dealerships.
The BMW iX3 SUV, which the German automaker promotes as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), features a specially developed rear axle subframe and chassis that allows for easier integration with different powertrains. The iX3 SUV’s electric powertrain generates output equal to 270 horsepower (the current gasoline-powered X3 produces 240 horsepower) with energy from a 70-kWh high-voltage battery to provide a driving range of more than 249 miles before a recharge, according to BMW. A new charging control unit also has been designed to hook up at fast-charging stations to an 80% battery-pack fill-up in just 30 minutes.
To differentiate the electric iX3 Concept, BMW adds a brand emblem to a new one-piece front kidney-shaped grille with a familiar BMW i graphic and embellished blue accents around the grille, along the side skirts, and rear diffuser. The iX3 Concept’s striking Moonstone Silver matte paint finish and light-alloy wheels complement a newer, more aerodynamic design.
BMW said its eDrive technology is already used in the plug-in hybrids of its iPerformance models and its English brand Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The new electric system will be one choice among a number of powertrain options in the future with modular flexibility. Currently, BMW offers i3 small car and i8 sports car plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants. BMW says that its BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture, based in Shenyang, China, will build the production version of the Concept iX3.