It comes with a single-motor setup and 285 miles of range

While the whole world has been busy gossiping about the all-new Ford Bronco, BMW has quietly launched its second electric model, the iX3. Based on the third-gen X3, the model was first previewed at the 2018 Beijing Motor. Two years later, the automaker has launched the production version of its electric SUV that isn’t a whole lot different from the concept. With a single-motor setup and a 285-mile range, can the iX3 stand out, or will it be lost in the mix?

It’s Pretty Much The Same As The Standard BMW X3

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The iX3 is based on the third-gen X3 and the company hasn’t differentiated it much from its internal combustion engine twin.

This feels a little weird – good weird – since we aren’t used to seeing such sedate-looking electric cars, or any normal-looking model in recent times for that matter, from the Bavarians. It is essentially an X3 with an electric powertrain.

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Exterior
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The iX3 has a drag coefficient of just 0.29. This is fairly impressive for a vehicle of this size. It comes courtesy of a few things. BMW has equipped a kidney grille that is largely closed to reduce wind resistance. The iX3 comes with 19-inch aero wheels that reduce the drag coefficient by five-percent. Furthermore, the SUV sits 2.9 inches lower than the standard X3.

Does the BMW iX3 Have Any Different Technology Compared to the X3?

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Interior
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Unlike many EVs in the market, the iX3 looks more mainstream and on par with other combustion-engined models. The biggest highlight is the ‘BMW IconicSounds Electric’ which is a sound emulator the automaker has developed for its EVs. The company has collaborated with Hans Zimmer for this and it debuts in the iX3. Other things include three-zone automatic climate control, panoramic glass sunroof, and ambient lighting.

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Interior
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BMW is offering the iX3 with an optional equipment lineup called “Impressive”. It comes with features like:

  • 20-inch Light-Alloy Wheels
  • Acoustic Glazing
  • Sport Seats
  • Vernasca Leather Trim
  • BMW Head-Up Display
  • Parking Assistant Plus
  • Harman Kardon Surround Sound

The iX3 Will Be Offered With A Single-Motor Setup

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Drivetrain
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The BMW iX3 will come with just one powertrain option at launch – a single-motor setup that sends power to the rear wheels. The motor produces 282 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque.

BMW avoids using rare earth metals in its electric motor, thus boasting of stronger environmental credentials as well as lower manufacturing costs.

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Drivetrain
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However, the performance specs aren’t as “Impressive” as its optional equipment line.

The electric SUV takes 6.8 seconds to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill. This is 0.8 seconds slower than the X3 sDrive 30i that churns out 248 horses.

The top speed is also limited to 112 mph keeping in the mind the range and long-term health of the battery.

How Much Range Does The iX3 Deliver?

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Exterior
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Speaking of the range, the iX3 comes packed with the ‘fifth-generation BMW eDrive high-voltage’ 80 kWh battery – 74 kWh usable – that helps deliver a WLTP-rated range of 286 miles.

This is more than the previously claimed range of 249 miles on the concept. It supports 150 kW fast charging that charges 80-percent of the battery in 34 minutes. The company also said that you can add 62 miles of range (based on the WLTP cycle) with 10 minutes of charging. The automaker is also offering a BMW Charging Card that allows you to have access to more than 450,000 public charging stations worldwide.

Final Thoughts

The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range Exterior
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BMW is yet to announce the price, but you can expect it to start around €65,000, which is approximately $78,000. For comparison’s sake, the 2020 X3 sDrive 30i starts at $41,950. The company will sell it only in the European and Chinese markets for now and has no plans to bring it to the U.S.

The iX3 seems to be a no non-sense electric crossover with no extra shenanigans that EVs are known for. It isn’t as tech-heavy as you’d expect it to be, the range isn’t anything to write home about, and doesn’t feature attention-seeking exterior looks. However, it has all the boxes ticked, and unless you want something different and out of the box, the iX3 should do the job.

If you were in the market for an electric SUV, would you shortlist the iX3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

Press Release:

The first-ever BMW iX3

14.07.2020 Press Kit

The concept: The first BMW Sports Activity Vehicle with an all-electric drive system. The drive system: Supreme efficiency leads to top-end range. The design: Proportions of a BMW X model and familiar BMW i accents. Equipment: Comfort, premium ambience and bespoke functionality. BMW Charging: Innovative products and digital services for simple and user-friendly charging.

Fully electric mobility celebrates its premiere in a BMW X model – the new BMW iX3 (fuel consumption combined in the NEDC test cycle: 0.0 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 17.8 – 17.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km; fuel consumption combined in the WLTP test cycle: 0.0 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 19.5 – 18.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km). Locally emission-free driving pleasure complements the sporting ability for which BMW is renowned and the comfort, multi‑faceted functionality and spaciousness of the successful BMW X3. Latest stage in the ongoing rollout of the BMW Group’s electrification strategy; technological expertise amassed in the development of BMW I cars utilised for the first time in a purely electrically powered model from the BMW core brand.

New BMW iX3 will be the brand’s first model to also be produced for export at the Shenyang manufacturing facility in China. Market launch will begin in China later in 2020.

Strategic “Power of Choice” approach covers broad spread of customer requirements and statutory regulations around the world: BMW X3 is the first model to be available with a petrol or diesel engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or all-electric drive system.

New BMW iX3 blazes a trail for fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. Major progress made in terms of power density, operating range, weight, installation space requirement and flexibility. Power density of the electric drive system increased by 30 per cent over the BMW Group’s existing fully electric vehicles; gravimetric energy density of the high-voltage battery at cell level up by 20 per cent. Latest versions of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery (all developed in-house) will also be deployed in the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 from 2021.

Efficiency boosted significantly compared with the BMW i3 by highly integrated drive system technology. Electric motor, power electronics and transmission arranged in a central housing for the first time. Fifth-generation BMW eDrive high-voltage battery with the latest battery cell technology and gross energy content of 80 kWh enables operating range of up to 460 kilometres [285 miles] in the statutory new WLTP test cycle (up to 520 kilometres [323 miles] in the NEDC test cycle). BMW Group monitors compliance with environmental and social standards as part of its procurement process for the lithium and cobalt used in battery cells.

Newly designed fifth-generation BMW eDrive electric motor produces maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp and peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft). Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h [62 mph] in 6.8 seconds (for purposes of comparison – BMW X3 30i: 6.4 seconds), top speed (electronically limited): 180 km/h [112 mph]. The design principle of a current-excited synchronous motor enables optimised power development and allows engineers to avoid the use of rare earths.

Scope for varying degrees of recuperation enables choice between pronounced one-pedal feeling with extensive recuperation of braking and coasting energy in driving position B and adaptive recuperation including coasting function in driving position D. Recuperation level can be adjusted through three stages. Adaptive recuperation enhances driving comfort and efficiency by adjusting Brake Energy Regeneration and the coasting function to the driving situation at hand.

Power transfer to the rear wheels delivers a classical BMW driving experience. Unrivalled combination of low electric power consumption and high charging capacity enables long-distance journeys at high average speeds. Adaptive suspension (fitted as standard) optimises sporting responses and comfort.

BMW IconicSounds Electric. Newly developed soundscape for electrically powered BMW models makes its debut in the BMW iX3 and adds extra emotional depth to the driving experience. Powerful drive sound available in cars with the equipment line “Impressive”. Unmistakable composition when starting and deactivating the electric drive system developed in collaboration with Hans Zimmer.

Bespoke charging products and services: BMW Charging Card provides simple and convenient access to currently more than 450,000 public charging points worldwide ; new Flexible Fast Charger (allowing use of different socket types) and high-output Wallboxes now available as options. Individual packages offer the optimum charging solution for every customer need.

New digital services from BMW Connected Charging in the car and via the app promote user-friendly electric mobility and enhance navigation planning, including recommendations for charging stops. Navigation system factors mid-journey breaks to charge the high-voltage battery (includes detailed information on individual charging points) into route planning and calculation of arrival times.

Optimised energy storage concept now enables vehicle charging capacity of up to 150 kW at DC fast-charging stations; Recharging from 0 to 80 per cent of the high-voltage battery’s capacity takes 34 minutes, 10-minute charge adds 100 kilometres [62 miles] of range (WLTP). BMW iX3 customers enjoy particularly favourable tariffs at IONITY fast-charging stations with a consumption dependent component of e.g. €0.29 per kWh for Germany)

Characteristic proportions of a BMW X model combine with model-specific design features. Innovative BMW aerodynamic wheels: 19-inch light-alloy items with new, drag-reducing design fitted as standard.

Premium interior ambience with model-specific accents. User-friendly, variable-usage cabin with high level of comfort for five people over everyday journeys and longer distances; load capacity can be expanded from 510 litres to as much as 1,560 litres.

Wide-reaching standard specification (“Inspiring”) includes metallic paintwork, LED headlights, three-zone automatic climate control with pre‑heating and pre-conditioning, automatic tailgate operation, panoramic glass sunroof, Driving Assistant Professional and ambient lighting. Optional equipment line “Impressive” also brings 20-inch light-alloy wheels, acoustic glazing, sport seats, Vernasca leather trim, BMW Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant Plus and Harman Kardon Surround Sound.

BMW Live Cockpit Professional with BMW Maps cloud-based navigation system and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant as standard. Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto preparation, Remote Software Upgrade and digital services from BMW Connected Charging also standard).

Outstanding environmental credentials thanks to commitment to sustainability throughout the value chain. CO2 impact of the BMW iX3 over its entire lifecycle is significantly less than a BMW X3 xDrive20d; impact reduced by 30 per cent when using electricity from the European energy mix for charging and by around 60 per cent when using exclusively green energy.

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Press release

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