Leaked: Your First Look At the 2021 BMW iX3 SUV EV
It’s coming later in 2020, but it might not be offered in the United Statesby Ciprian Florea, on LISTEN 03:02
In 2018, BMW unveiled the iX3 concept and confirmed that an all-electric version of the compact SUV will go into production in 2020. The green crossover has yet to break cover, but a couple of official photos that leaked on Instagram gives us our first look at the iX3. As suggested by prototypes spotted testing in Europe, the production model is virtually identical to the concept vehicle. It’s also basically identical to the regular X3.
The BMW iX3 is an X3 with a handful of unique design features
Just like the (production-ready) concept before it, the production iX3 is essentially a regular X3 with minor changes on the outside. The most important modification is the grille, now a closed-off unit with "scales" instead of vertical bars. Because electric cars don’t need a radiator in the nose, EVs usually feature closed-off grilles, which improves aerodynamics, an important factor toward obtaining maximum electric range. Unlike the concept, the production model still features two separate kidneys, like the gasoline/diesel models.
The bumper is heavily based on the concept car. We can see the same thin and vertical openings on the sides, as well as a trapezoidal vent in the center. The latter, however, is skinnier and features a splitter-like element at the bottom. It’s a sign that BMW refined the SUVs aerodynamics since 2018.
Both the kidney grille and the side skirts feature blue accents, a trademark color on modern electric cars. Surprisingly enough, the intricate rims of the concept vehicle made it into production. Sure, the wheels aren’t 100-percent identical, but they retain the two-tone design and the closed-off layout, which also improves aerodynamics. Around back, the iX3 is a standard X3 with blue inserts in the apron instead of exhaust pipes.
The BMW iX3 will return more than 270 miles per charge
The production version of the i3 will feature a single electric motor powered by a 74-kWh battery pack. The unit will generate around 282 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The motor will spin the rear wheels, but BMW might offer a twin-motor, all-wheel-drive version at some point. BMW claims that the iX3 will be able to run for more than 440 km (273 miles) on the WLTP test cycle on a full battery charge.
The iX3 will be made in China by the BMW Brilliance joint venture starting in 2020. There’s no official launch date yet due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There are rumors that the iX3 might not come to the United States until BMW launched an all-wheel-drive version.