BMW iX3 Electric Crossover Concept Debuts in Beijing, Production Set for 2020

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The new pure electric SUV, unveiled at the 2018 Beijing motor show, closely previews a new X3 based model being developed as a rival to the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron Quattro, Mercedes-Benz EQ C.

Essentially, the iX3 concept is an electric-powered version of the BMW X3. With BMW having trademarked iX1 through to iX9 it could be the first in a broad line-up of all-electric BMW SUVs. It will go into production in 2020 and will be built in China.

The electric motor of the BMW Concept iX3 generates more than 200kW of power and its high-voltage battery enables a claimed range of over 400 kilometres.

This modular, "plug-and-play" electric drive setup theoretically makes it easier to expand the electric offering to other BMW models, and BMW says that the iX3's electric motor doesn't need any "rare Earth" metals, which makes its construction a little more eco-friendly, not to mention ethics-friendly.

The BMW Concept iX3 had its first outing at the Beijing show and is the first model from the BMW brand to be driven purely by electric power.

On the exterior, key features include a closed-off kidney grille with BMW i auto graphic, blue accents around the kidney, the brand logo on the hood, along the side skirts, as well as the rear apron. Among the unique design elements serving to differentiate it from existing petrol and diesel versions of the third-generation SUV is a newly styled grille, reprofiled bumpers, aerodynamically optimized wheels shod with low rolling resistance tyres, subtle additions to the sills and a new rear diffuser element. The company says: "This study of a first all-electric model from BMW is clearly defined by the robust and sophisticated all-round character of an SAV, which remains unaffected by the presence of a locally emission-free drive system". Also present is a smoother front bumper, reshaped in a way that may likely aid aerodynamics. The battery size is rated at 70kWh. Like the one used by the Audi e-tron, the i3X's battery is said to have been designed with 150kW fast-charging stations in mind, making a full charge possible in just 30 minutes thanks to clever battery cooling and temperature control technology. No official word on a release date, but expect to see a productionised version in the next couple of years.

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