As expected sinec they have been teasing the vehicle, BMW opened the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing with the unveiling of its next all-electric vehicle: the BMW iX3.
The German automaker claims a range of 250 miles of range for the all-electric SUV, which is expected to go to market in 2020 and interestingly, BMW confirmed that it will be first produced in Shenyang, China by its BMWBrilliance joint venture.
For about a year now, BMW confirmed that its first all-electric vehicle since the BMW i3 in 2013 will be an all-electric version of its X3 SUV – if you don’t count the Mini Electric under the Mini brand, which is expected next year.
BMW presents the iX3 concept as the first example of its next generation of electric vehicles that it plans to launch starting in 2020.
The vehicle features the fifth-generation of BMW’s eDrive electric powertrain technology:
“The fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology is distinguished by its extremely compact design. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are now grouped into a single component, making it much easier to integrate them into different vehicle architectures. Plus, their modular construction enables them to be adapted to the performance levels required and the available space. Another notable element is that the electric motor does not need any rare earths, which means the BMW Group is not dependent on their availability.”
In numbers, BMW says that it means a maximum output of “over 200 kW/270 hp” and it is powered by a “model-specific high-voltage battery with a net capacity of over 70 kWh” for a range of “more than 400 kilometres (249 miles) in the WLTP cycle.”
The automaker also says that the vehicle will be able to take a charging rate of up to 150 kW, like several other all-electric SUVs expected to come out in the next 2 years.
As for the design, BMW wasn’t as adventurous as it was for its first EV, the BMW i3, and instead kept the recognizable design of the X3 with some “electric design accents” of the BMW i brand:
BMW didn’t confirm a price for the vehicle, which is expected to be on the market by 2020.
A big step in the right direction for BMW after the i3 in my opinion. The BMW i3 was still stuck in the era when legacy automakers thought they should differentiate EVs with weird design features.
It certainly looks like they didn’t fall for it this time.
As for the specs, it’s also a big improvement, but it’s about what you would expect from an EV coming out in 2020 – even maybe on the lower-end of the spectrum for the timeframe.
And since it is on the lower-end of the spectrum, BMW is going to have to be careful with its pricing strategy – especially since it made an electric version of an exciting vehicle.
Buyers are going to compare it to the gas-powered X3, which starts at ~$43,000 in the US. They can’t come out and have something costing $80,000 here.
I think a more reasonable price is achievable – especially with a 70 kWh battery pack. Now it all depends on how much they are going to invest in volume production of the vehicle.
Either way, we will follow the development of the vehicle and we will keep you updated with pricing information.
How much do you think would be fair for the iX3? Let us know in the comment section below.