BMW is in fashion at the end of the electric SUV, but the iX3 is finally about to break the cover under production cover. Planned by a homonymous concept more than two years ago at the Beijing Auto Show, the zero emission derivative of the X3 is celebrating its world premiere today before going into production in China.
The showcar, camouflaged prototypes and all the teasers published by BMW have shown that the design will not stray too far from the compact crossover with conventional drive. It should be pretty much the same story with the interior as we don’t expect the cabin to move too far from the ICE powered X3.
In true BMW style, the iX3 will be available as rear-wheel drive with a single electric motor sending 282 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds (400 Newton meters) of torque to the rear wheels. The electric crossover will use the company’s fifth generation eDrive technology, which will also be adopted by the i4 and iNext next year.
All these electric vehicles will integrate the electric motor, transmission and electronics in a central box to improve the packaging and be lighter than previous configurations developed by BMW, while eliminating the need for rare earth materials. The 74 kWh battery will provide more than 440 kilometers (273 miles) of autonomy in the WLTP cycle.
By introducing an EV version of its popular crossover, BMW is making the X3 its first production model to be offered with gasoline, diesel, hybrid and electric. It will go into series production later this year in Shenyang, China, as part of the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture.
In an interview with BMWBLOG, a manufacturer spokesperson said there were no immediate plans to bring the iX3 to the United States. BMWBLOG speculates that this may have something to do with the relatively limited range and lack of xDrive.