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BMW Concept iX3 Previews an Electric X3 : Comments

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BMW has been saying for some time that an electric crossover based on the X3 is coming. Today at Auto China, we got our first look at it as the Concept iX3.

The iX3 has some subtitle design differences when compared to the standard X3. Up front is a new take on the iconic BMW kidney grille as they are joined together. Other details include special wheels to improve aerodynamics, blue accents, and a small door on the front fender for the charging port.

Power comes from BMW's fifth-generation EV hardware which includes an electric motor producing 270 horsepower and a 70-kWh battery pack. BMW claims a range of 400 kilometers (about 249 miles) on the WLTP test cycle. The Concept iX3 can handle a charging rate of up to 150 kW, which will allow it to get an 80 percent charge in a half-hour.

The production version of the iX3 is expected to launch in 2020 as part of BMW's plan to introduce 25 electrified vehicles by 2025. 12 of those models will be full EVs.

Source: BMW

The BMW Concept iX3

  • Electric mobility arrives at the core of BMW.

BMW Concept iX3 with more than 200 kW/270 hp electric motor and a WLTP range of more than 400 kilometres (249 miles).
The BMW Concept iX3 represents another milestone on the road to locally emission-free driving under the BMW Group’s electrification strategy. And so a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) once again blazes a trail for a new and groudbreaking form of BMW’s fabled driving pleasure. The current BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance (petrol consumption combined: 3.4 – 3.3 l/100 km [83.1 – 85.6 mpg imp]; electric power consumption combined: 15.4 – 15.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 78 – 77 g/km) made its debut in 2015 as the BMW core brand’s first plug-in hybrid model. And the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 presented in 2009 was the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe with a full-hybrid drive system.

The BMW Concept iX3 previews the fusion of the multi-faceted driving pleasure for which BMW X models are renowned and a locally emission-free drive system. The version of the fifth-generation electric motor developed for the SAV generates maximum output of over 200 kW/270 hp.  The likewise model-specific high-voltage battery has a net capacity of over 70 kWh, which is enough to give the electric SAV a range of more than 400 kilometres (249 miles) in the WLTP cycle.

Another feature of the high-voltage battery developed for the fifth generation of eDrive technology is its optimised charging capability. The energy storage system has a newly developed Charging Control Unit and is designed to be hooked up to fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kW. The high-voltage battery can be charged in just 30 minutes from one of these stations.

Electric mobility also means a differentiation in design. 
In the front, the kidney and the brand emblem show the affiliation with the BMW i brand. The closed double kidney with the blue accentuation continues the BMW i Vision Dynamics brand already featured in the BMW i Vision Dynamics. The closed area within the kidney reduces air resistance, providing aerodynamic benefits.

Identifying features of the BMW Concept iX3 include a closed-off BMW kidney grille with familiar BMW i car graphic, BMW i Blue accents around the kidney, around the brand logo at the front and along the side skirts, and a diffuser element in the same colour integrated in the rear apron. These styling cues provide a striking contrast against the Moonstone Silver matt exterior paint finish. The concept study is also fitted with light-alloy wheels in an aerodynamically optimised design. 

Alongside the world premiere of the BMW Concept iX3 and the BMW i Vision Dynamics study also on display in Beijing, the BMW Group is also highlighting the spectrum of design differentiation between the BMW and BMW i brands. The styling of the BMW i Vision Dynamics is characterised by the pioneering design language developed exclusively for BMW i models. The signature looks of BMW i cars will also mark out future models from the brand. This study of a first all-electric model from BMW is clearly defined by the robust and sophisticated all-round character of an SAV, which remains unaffected by the presence of a locally emission-free drive system under the skin. 

The electric drive will be visible through the design elements from the BMW i design language in the exterior design mentioned above.

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Now they are onto something.  The i3 is an ugly looking car with odd proportions and that combined with the small range is why it doesn't sell.  This looks like a legit BMW, this will sell.  These quirky, goofy EV's were never going to sell, I think car makers though EV buyers wanted something different.  What people want is a BMW crossover, and BMW is giving them a BMW crossover.

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I'm still having trouble believing these governments are going to bring the people around to the so-called "virtues" of EVs when there has been no preponderance of evidence that people want them... unless they are subsidized by taxpayers.  How is that sustainable?

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It will certainly be interesting to track the effect of the pare-down of the tax credit.
I'm tending to think it won't have a huge effect due to the nature of how the credit works, vs. it being money off at sign-time. Most consumers seems to gravitate toward 'instant savings'/ the short term. It's a big factor in the steady rise in leasing, IMO.

That said- what will be even more interesting is if any of the brands do what they're 'threatening' to do, which is quickly shift to all EVs. THAT is going to throw some major sparks in the near term (if any actually try it). Remember- for all the incredible hype around Tesla, they only sold 50K vehicles in the US last year, and as the poster child king of EVs.

Volvo is one brand threatening to go all EV- they sold 81K in the US in '17. I have to wonder what their internal volume projections are after their switch- they can't possibly be expecting to be at even 50% of that number. The best yardstick is overall EV marketshare, which is 1%.

1% of 81,000 is only 810 vehicles. Even 25%, for which there is no indicators that it would be so high I know of, is 20K vehicles. What is the business plan to deal with such a drastic downturn in volume?

Edited by balthazar
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So; yet another reality check to the 'coming sooner than you would think' retort.

I'll say it again; the transportation market is like an oil tanker, slow to react & slow to turn. 'Hype' likes to think it's manning the helm, but it's in a life raft on a tow rope, bouncing around in the tanker's wake.

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