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BMW unveils new electric iX3 concept

BMW has revealed a concept for its forthcoming electric SUV – the iX3 – at the 2018 Auto China show in Beijing.

The concept previews what will be the firm’s first all-electric SUV, or Sports Active Vehicle (SAV) as BMW likes to call it. It also showcases the fifth-generation of BMW’s eDrive technology.

Interestingly at the front, the car shows off a new aerodynamic kidney grille for the brand, although it’s noticeably similar to the rest of BMW’s current ‘i’ cars.

Blue accents – a common trait across BMW’s i3 and i8 models – appear across the car, contrasting with the matte Moonstone Silver paint finish.

Lighter alloy wheels feature, and help to aid efficiency, resulting in the iX3 having an electric range of 249 miles – a mile more than Audi’s new e-tron electric SUV. We see what you did there BMW.

Its batteries can also be charged at 150 kW fast-charging stations, and is expected to take just 30 minutes to charge at one of these stations – although there are a still limited number of them, as just 200 of these stations are expected to be implemented across Europe by the end of 2018.

The iX3 is powered by a 266bhp electric motor, and showcases BMW’s future electric architectures, that which will be front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. BMW says this will also allow its future cars to be more flexible with their powertrains, whether that be combustion engines, plug-in hybrids or all-electric-cars.

The X3 crossover, which the iX3 is based on, is one of the first cars from the German manufacturer to showcase this flexibility.

The iX3 will join a rapidly growing range of electric SUVs, including the Tesla Model X, recently-launched Jaguar I-Pace and upcoming Audi e-tron.

It’s expected to reach showrooms in 2020, a year before a production version of the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept saloon goes on sale.

Ted Welford

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April 25, 2018

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