Small SUV buyers looking to go all-electric will soon be spoilt for choice. Hot on the heels of the Tesla Model Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, VW ID.4, Audi Q4 e-tron and Nissan Ariya comes BMW’s iX3. All are due to be launched in the UK over the next year to 18 months and will cost £45-65,000.
The iX3 is an electrified version of the X3 rather than a ‘ground up’ EV design like the smaller i3'. It will be the brand’s first model to be available with the choice of pure-electric, plug-in hybrid system or internal combustion engines. The first versions will be the inevitable posh 'Premier Edition' which will have a price tag of £61,900. Cheaper models will arrive later.
iX3 is an electrified version of the X3 rather than a ground-up dedicated EV design
BMW claims it’s new EV technology makes the electric powertrain more efficient while reducing the need for precious materials in its construction. The new motor has a maximum output of 282bhp and an official range between recharges of 285 miles.
The iX3 uses a 74kWh battery which can be charged at up to 11kW from an AC charger and 150kW from a DC rapid unit. This will allow a 0 to 80 per cent capacity charge in 34 minutes. A ‘get you home top up’ of 50 miles’ worth of power will take less than 10 minutes – about the same time as filling up a petrol car.
iX3 will top up 50 miles in less than 10 minutes on a rapid charger
The battery pack is mounted under the floor, which BMW claims improves the handling of the iX3 by lowering the centre of gravity by 7.5cm compared to the conventionally-engined X3 models. Unusually for an SUV, only rear-wheel-drive versions are offered though. The 0 to 62 mph takes 6.8 seconds, within half a second of the petrol-powered BMW X3 xDrive30i.
The looks of the iX3 are also set to be controversial, thanks to a large grille which is largely enclosed as it is not needed for cooling on an electric car. A new aerodynamic wheel design reduces aerodynamic drag by around 5 percent compared to conventional alloys, adding around six miles to the range. The inside is largely unchanged from theconventionally-powered BMW X3 variants.
Grilles on film - controversial front end will divide opinion