More details of BMW’s upcoming electric SUV, the iX3, to be released in the next week

BMW’s newest concept car is the iX3, a fully electric version of their mid-range X3.Both vehicles are being publicly premiered at the Beijing Motor Show, known as Auto China, in less than a week’s time.

BMW’s next fully electric vehicle, the iX3, is being unveiled at Auto China on the 29th April, and by all accounts will be based on the new X3 SUV. (Source: www.cnet.com)

The lucrative Chinese car market is ripe for luxury electric vehicle offerings in the wake of their recent declaration to drastically reduce emissions, which is probably why we’ll be spoilt for choice in the EV arena at Auto China.

What do we know about the BMW iX3 so far?

There have been numerous official announcements from BMW touting the iX3 as a mix of the practical qualities inherent in the X3, added to which will be all the advantages of an electric car, but just exactly what this will entail has been kept secret in the lead up to next week’s show.

It’s definitely a long range, mid-size SUV, based on the X3 – as per BMW CEO Harald Krüger’s announcement last month at the Annual Accounts Press Conference – with other industry specialists suggesting it will be pitched against the similarly sized Jaguar I-PACE, Audi E-Tron Quattro and possibly the Tesla Model S. What we can extrapolate from this is that it will likely have the same range as the I-PACE and E-Tron. That is, around 480 kilometres of ‘real world’ driving, as Jaguar likes to phrase it.

Sources say it will be ready for release in 2020, and for a concept car that’s not so far off.

Most of the gossip about the iX3 otherwise seems to be based on spy photographers reporting back on a trial run in Scandinavia recently, where developers were testing the range of the iX3 battery pack in temperatures that regularly dipped below the -10 degree Celsius mark.

As the results of this excellent espionage shows, the iX3 has a nice neat backside with no rear exhaust pipes, a front electric charging port and – drum roll please – we’re getting word they’ve messed around with the traditional front grille, the ‘kidneys’ as they’re known to BMW enthusiasts.

It will be the first car to use BMW’s new zero-emissions car underpinnings
(source: www.autocar.co.uk)

Personally, I feel that the signature grille gives the front view a cute ‘grumpy puppy’ appearance (or is that just me?) and would be more than happy to see it left as is. From what we can see in the photos there’s been no visible change to the two lobes, a move which will no doubt be appreciated by the BMW fanboys.

However, in the recent teaser video released on BMW’s Twitter platform a few days ago, they’re showing a more connected, flattened and horizontal figure-8 design that I do not find as aesthetically impressive.

(source: www.electrek.co )

It could be that BMW has decided to get rid of the old-style, unnecessary air intake grille to make way for a more streamlined façade. Only time will tell.

What else do we know about BMW’s most recent electric offering?

It will be a zero emissions version of the X3, one of BMW’s most popular cars, using an in-development chassis with BMW’s CLAR structure. The CLAR chassis – CLAR is short for Cluster Architecture –forms the basis of the X3, 5 series and 7 series. With its lighter aluminium and carbon fibre components the all-important power-to-weight ratio issue of an EV – or indeed any car – is addressed from the ground up, so to speak.

So while we’d love to know further details like price point, torque, battery placement, and when it will be available in Australia, for now it’s all mostly speculation until we can get a closer look at it next week.

Rene Shoolman is an avid ultra-runner who can also be found over on her blog Ultra Lazy Ultra Runner. She is passionate about anything that will keep the outdoors a little bit cleaner and healthier (mainly so she can run in it). Rene works in the engineering industry by day, writes by night and runs in whatever time is leftover.

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