BMW unveils new electric iX3 concept

BMW unveils new electric iX3 concept

BMW unveils new electric iX3 concept

This week BMW revealed a concept version of its first battery-electric SUV, the iX3 Concept.

The company is using the iX3 concept study to send out the message that pure electric mobility will soon be making its debut in the BMW core brand's model range. The thinly-veiled production model previews an upcoming electric crossover with a "made in China" label.

BMW says that the iX3's electric drive system is the fifth iteration of its battery technology, and it combines new batteries with an electric motor, transmission, and all the necessary control electronics bundled into one section of the vehicle.

The BMW Concept iX3 had its first outing at the Beijing show and is the first model from the BMW brand to be driven purely by electric power. Instead of having to plug the car's cord into a wall socket, the user-friendly system employs an inductive charging station installed in the customer's garage, with charging initiated as soon as the auto is driven over the pad. BMW eDrive technology today already is part of the plug-in hybrid drive system employed by the BMW iPerformance models and MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. This is the first BMW EV sports activity vehicle or SAV as the automaker likes to call its cars, but we know an SUV when we see it. A pleasurable ride, the iX3 exerts a power output of 200 kW/270 hp.

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According to BMW, the energy storage system has a newly developed Charging Control Unit, and is created to be hooked up to fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kW. Charging it to 80 per cent should take less than 30 minutes when hooked up to a high-voltage charge point. For now, BMW has yet to show its interior.

Apart from the reshaped kidney grille and blue highlights, the iX3 gets less ventilation from the front for a smoother nose, the sills and rear diffuser get a tweak (a blue tweak at that) and there's a set of slippery lightweight wheels, so if this iX3 Concept is anything to go by then BMW's future electric models are going to be remarkably similar to their ICE counterparts.

The concept also has light-alloy wheels with an aerodynamic design and a Moonstone silver paint job that contrasts the bright blue detailing on the skirts. BMW is still not mentioning when their first all-electric crossover will reach the public.

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