The BMW iX3 – 266bhp and range of 249 miles – is being shown in concept form but should be available to buy around 2020 as BMW’s answer to the upcoming Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQ.
In the electric jungle of i’s and e’s, the iX3 is unusual for being an electric version of a familiar model rather than the bespoke, standalone creations favoured by rivals. There are design tweaks – blanked off kidney grille and blue styling accents – but it’s all still recognisably X3.
Underneath the body, however, things are very different with the iX3 previewing a new flexible architecture able to accommodate electric, hybrid or combustion engine drivetrains, as well as front, rear or all-wheel drive layouts. BMW says this modular approach will “meet the ever-increasing need for electrified vehicles with a wealth of different variants tailored to meet specific demand.” The ultimate driving machine is going pick ’n mix…
As the first electric X3, the concept doesn’t stray far from mid-size SUV norms, with the promise of plenty of performance, all-wheel drive security and no compromises to X3 functionality and comfort. It achieves this with what BMW says is a new more compact fifth-generation eDrive motor and transmission along with more powerful batteries, all of which bring advances in terms of performance characteristics, operating range, weight, packaging space and flexibility, says BMW.