German luxury automaker BMW has now confirmed the launch of the iX3 electric SUV and is gearing up for its commercial launch at the end of this year. BMW has reported that the iX3 electric SUV has passed required approval tests successfully and is preparing for the start of production.
The electric SUV will be produced in China, thanks to the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA). The homologation process – which involved 340 hours and 7,700km of testing in the space of just four weeks – is now finished, and final tweaks are currently being made to the 200th pre-production prototype which recently came off the assembly lines in its Shenyang plant.
This is the first time that the company has completed the homologation process for a fully electric model in China and Europe at the same time. The results of testing during homologation have been shared with the authorities in the markets where the company plans to launch the iX3 as per schedule.
“We are right on schedule with our BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles and will launch standard production in late summer, using state-of-the-art technologies such as the custom installation of the new high-voltage battery and artificial intelligence for monitoring parts,” explained Robert Küssel, BBA Plant Director Dadong.
What Is It?
The X3 will be the first BMW available with either petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid or full-electric power, and the iX3 will be the company’s first all-electric SUV. iX3s will be built on the same production line as the standard car (the two will look much the same, but the iX3 will get special aerodynamic trim and wheels) in China and exported globally.
The electric SAV is equipped with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, that consists of a drive unit with the electric motor, powerful high-voltage batteries, power electronics and transmission, all integrated into a central housing. BMW claims that this significantly reduces the installation space and mass of the drive technology relative to output and offers added flexibility for installing new electric powertrain components in different vehicle derivatives. Further, the scalable, modular design of the fifth-generation electric drivetrain makes it flexible for any vehicle architecture, meaning more EV iterations of BMW’s existing range will be rolled out in the coming years.
Powertrain On Offer
BMW has been talking about a 74kWh battery pack which will also be used in BMW i4 and BMW iNEXT models from 2021 onwards and which the automaker claims will enable a 440 km range. The Bavarian automaker is claiming a range as per the WLTP cycle which is not realistically possible in real-world conditions for most people. A real-world range of ~360 km on a single charge is more likely. The overall output figures will stand at a maximum power of 286 hp. The torque of 400 Nm allows for high initial acceleration and keeps a high level even at the upper motor speeds. It also transfers power to the rear wheels.
As for the design, the leaked photos revealed the exterior design of the crossover will be very similar to the conventional X3 with the only differences being a few blue accents and a few tweaks to the bumpers.
Chances Of It Coming To India?
The iX3 is unlikely to find its way to India anytime soon as the model will focus on the European countries mainly. BMW currently retails the conventional X3 at a starting price of Rs 56.0 lakh going up to Rs 60.9 lakhs for the top-spec (both prices are ex-showroom). It is offered with either a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine generating 190 PS of power or a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine cranking out 250 PS of power.