BMW's Tesla killer? iX3 full-electric SUV ready for production
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BMW has unveiled the Concept iX3 SUV at the Auto China motor show in Bejing with a production version confirmed to follow.
While only a concept at this stage, the iX3 is perhaps the most production ready EV concept we've seen from the German outfit due to the use of an existing platform and proven next-generation electric powertrain.
BMW say the premiere of the Concept iX3 opens a new chapter in its electrification strategy with the company’s flexible vehicle architectures accommodating all front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive layouts, paving the way for models from all the company’s brands to be equipped with different powertrains - including combustion engines, plug-in hybrids or full-electric vehicles.
The BMW X3, on which the Concept iX3 vehicle is based, is one of the first models whose architecture demonstrates this flexibility. The only modification made to the BMW Concept iX3 is a specially developed rear axle subframe to house the batteries.
Visually, there isn't much separating the iX3 from its petrol-powered sibling. There's a trademark kidney grille with the BMW i brand logo, but the grille is closed off to reduce air resistance. Other differences include BMW i Blue accents are used around the grille, BMW logo, side skirts and rear diffuser, and new light-alloy wheels.
The big changes are all under the skin, with the iX3 featuring BMW's fifth-generation eDrive technology - the company's smallest and most advanced electric powertrain yet.
The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are all housed in a single unit, making it easier to integrate in different vehicle architectures. The modular construction also means the unit can be made bigger or smaller for different performance or packaging requirements.
The iX3 also features BMW's next-generation high-voltage batteries offering better performance, energy content, charging capability and durability.
The eDrive motor in the iX3 concept is powered by a 200kW electric motor with a high-voltage 70kWh battery offering a range of more than 400km.
Thanks to a new Charging Control Unit, the iX3's battery can be charged in 30 minutes when hooked up to a 150kW fast-charging station.
The BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture will produce a future series-production version of the BMW Concept iX3 in Shenyang, China, expected to debut before 2021.