GREEN SPECIAL: BMW's triple treat
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BMW is following through on its “power of choice” Electric Vehicle (EV) strategy with two new plug-in SUVs set for launch in New Zealand by the end of the year.
The aim, says the company, is to provide customers with the choice of different drive technologies with no compromise in performance or design.
The iX3 and iX are both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) powered solely by electricity. The iX3 will go on sale in $114,900 Inspiring and $124,900 Impressive variants. The iX will be available in $163,900 xDrive40 and $197,900 xDrive50 versions.
The iX3 is the first model designed around fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. This system is also used in the iX and the i4 Gran Coupe, which will arrive in NZ early 2022.
The iX3’s integrated drive unit brings the electric motor, power electronics and transmission together within a single housing, and generates 210kW and 400Nm. The 80kWh battery is good for 460km range on the WLTP test cycle. The iX3 also features rear-wheel-drive, long a BMW hallmark.
The company is also offering a complimentary Generation 3 BMW Wallbox for every iX3, iX and i4, until June 2022. This unit speeds up charging with 7.4kW capability, or scalable power of up to 22kW if three-phase power is available.
The system also comes with a Bluetooth connection to the MyBMW App, for security and remote control. Customers who purchase a vehicle through BMW Financial Services also receive $800 towards installation of the Wallbox.
When plugged into the Wallbox, the iX3’s high-voltage battery can be charged from 0 to 100 per cent overnight, in 7.5 hours. A DC fast-charging station, meanwhile, can replenish the battery from 10 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in 32 minutes; a 10-minute charge at one of these stations provides enough power to add 100 kilometres to the driving range on the WLTP cycle.
The iX3 is built around strict sustainability requirements, from procurement of raw materials via the supply chain, through to production, use phase and end-of-life recycling. The amount of raw cobalt used in the high-voltage battery is reduced by around a third compared with the previous-generation technology in the i3, for example. Renewable energy is used both for the manufacture of the battery cells and in the production of the vehicle.
BMW Group follows its own procurement process for the cobalt and lithium it supplies to the producers of the battery cells, part of which involves compliance with environmental and human rights standards.
Key styling elements set the iX3 apart from the rest of the X3 range. There are colour accents in BMW i Blue, a largely enclosed BMW kidney grille and light-alloy wheels with optimised aerodynamics.
The grille is encased in a single-piece frame. This comes in pearl-effect chrome with a blue accent. The inner surfaces of the kidney grille elements have a mesh-like structure and feature a BMW i badge. The new contours of the headlights, which are around 10 millimetres slimmer than on the previous model, lend the front end a similarity to that of the iX and i4.
The M Sport package is standard for the iX3 in NZ. The lower air intake, which comes with 10-stage active air flap control to cool the drive system components and brakes, is larger. The air curtains positioned at the outer edges of the front end are L-shaped and carry blue accents.
The air breathers in the front side panels feature an M-specific design, while aerodynamically optimised surfacing marks out the rear apron.
The rear has diffuser elements finished in Frozen Grey or optional BMW i Blue, while contours of the LED rear lights are in black.