BMW hints at future electrified SUV, and it looks production-ready to us.
BMW has unveiled a concept teaser of what will be its first mass-produced electric vehicle, the Concept iX3, in Beijing.
Although it looks like a regular X3, this eco-chic crossover is a big deal for BMW. Mid-size SUVs are dominating in Australia and indeed around the world, which is why Mercedes-Benz is going to launch its EQ brand with the EQ C, and Audi is prepping the high-riding e-tron.
Power in the 'concept' comes from an electric motor developing more than 200kW of power, with a claimed range of 400km on the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
Given it's a concept, BMW isn't speaking in specific figures, but the battery is around 70kWh in capacity and can be charged in just 30 minutes at a 150kW fast-charge station.
Both of those figures sound decidedly reasonable, given the current petrol xDrive 30i makes 185kW of power. As for the range, Mercedes wants to offer 500km from the EQ C, but there's no word on whether that's a New European Drive Cycle figure or WLTP. If it's the former, you can expect to get less in the real world.
On the outside, BMW hasn't deviated too far from the basic X3 formula. Gone is the standard kidney grille, and in its place is a linked unit derived from that of the iVision Dynamics Concept.
There's plenty of blue highlights, and a point to plug in the charger, but there isn't much else separating the electric SUV from its internal-combustion counterparts.
When it launches, the iX3 will kickstart the brand's drive into battery power. BMW will develop its future models on a modular platform, with differing battery heights for X- and regular-badged vehicles.
Batteries will be located between the axles, with capacities ranging from 60kWh to 120kWh. A range of motors will also be offered, with e-power models badged 30e, 40e and 50e depending on their output.
Our tip: Watch for more on the iX3 to come in the months ahead.