BMW Concept iX3 Promises 400 km Range

BMW Concept iX3 Promises 400 km Range

This is the second all-electric BMW after the i3 city auto, but the first to be spun from an existing model range.

266bhp and range of 249 miles - is being shown in concept form but should be available to buy around 2020 as BMW's answer to the upcoming Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQ. But the iX3 will be the third production electric vehicle from BMW Group after the facelifted i3 and the Mini E, which will be introduced in 2019.

"The BMW Concept iX3 previews the fusion of the multi-faceted driving pleasure for which BMW X models are renowned and a locally emission-free drive system", the automaker says.

Its Concept iX3 is such a vehicle that was showcased at the Beijing Auto Show that took place this year. The body paint is matte-finish Moonstone Silver to go with the electric nature of the crossover. As there's no conventional petrol or diesel engine to keep cool, much of the area within the grille's outline is closed to outside air, improving aerodynamics. The transfer of the drive system technology originally developed for BMW i cars into vehicles from the BMW Group's core brands is entering a new dimension here. The same is true of the concept's special "aerodynamically optimised" alloy wheels.

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BMW claims future "i" models will be distinguished by "signature looks", by which it means subtle design touches to easily restyled parts such as the bumpers and side skirts, rather than big sheet-metal alterations.

The blue accents to signify the electric heartbeat are retained in a similar fashion to that of the i3 and i8, with the charging port positioned behind the left side front wheel arch. All of which draw power from a newer battery which is more compact - and more powerful, too.

Under the skin is BMW's latest electric motor that churns out over 270bhp, or about the same as the current X3 30d. As for the electric motor, it does not require any rare earths.

BMW has stated that a production version of the iX3 SUV will be ready for sale by 2020. That grille is subtly reshaped to give it a bit more of a distinctive flavour, with a strong touch of the styling of that i Vision Dynamics concept. Charging it to 80 per cent should take less than 30 minutes when hooked up to a high-voltage charge point.

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