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BMW previews all-electric X3. Image by BMW.

BMW previews all-electric X3
The Concept iX3 shows us how the 2019 BMW iX3 will look next year.
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Newer articles featuring 2018 BMW X3

2018-05-15: Driven: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport
2018-05-30: BMW swells X3 family with M40d

A new BMW X3 already?

Not quite. You're looking at the BMW Concept iX3 and that little 'i' means that this is a fully electric version of the BMW X3 SUV, or rather a concept preview of the same. BMW has already confirmed that an X3-based EV will spearhead its electric revolution when it hits the showrooms in 2019 and this show car (unveiled at Auto China in Beijing this week, incidentally) is a close indication of what we can expect to see.

Looks high-tech.

Indeed, thanks in no small part to the snazzy new 'aerodynamically optimised' alloy wheels, which are complemented by smooth new bumpers front and rear and plenty of 'BMW i Blue' accents and i badging to ensure everyone knows that this car comes from the BMW i family. The designers have given the Concept iX3 a distinctive new take on BMW's double kidney grille, too, though it's just for show, as it's completely blanked off.

Because there's no engine behind?

Correct. Instead, the iX3 features what BMW calls its fifth generation of eDrive technology, where the electric motor, transmission and power electronics are smaller and lighter than before and packaged into one neat unit. The motor (just one is mentioned, presumably sitting above the front axle, making the iX3 front-wheel drive) is rated at 200kW, or 270hp. That's fed energy by a new generation of battery with a net capacity of 'over 70kWh.' On the new WLTP test cycle, that's theoretically good for about 250 miles between charges. And further developments within the energy storage system means that a full charge can take as little as 30 minutes when hooked up to a 150kW fast-charging station.

Not bad. Anything else to add?

Only that the iX3 signals a change in BMW platform development strategy, where all core vehicle architectures in the future will be able to take electric power, plugin hybrid propulsion or even a good old-fashioned internal combustion engine, depending on market demand. The iX3, incidentally, will be produced by the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture in Shenyang, China.

Shane O' Donoghue - 25 Apr 2018

Earlier articles featuring 2018 BMW X3

2017-11-08: Driven: BMW X3 20d xDrive
2017-06-26: BMW reveals larger, lighter new X3

2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.

2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.2018 BMW Concept iX3. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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The new show car is being presented at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, and could preview the next 8 Series.

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