THE new iX3, BMW’s first fully electric X model, will arrive in Australia by mid next year, blending emission free driving pleasure with BMW’s renowned sporting ability and the multi-faceted functionality of a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
By next year, the BMW X3 will be the first core model available in Australia with the option of highly efficient petrol engines, diesels and a fully electrified drive system. The BMW iX3 will also be the brand’s first model to be built for export at the Shenyang plant in China.
Showcasing BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology, the latest versions of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery sees substantial progress in the areas of performance, power consumption and range.
The new drive system unit generates maximum output of 210kW and peak torque of 400Nm which, unlike with many other electric motors, is sustained at high revs. It can sprint to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds, putting it on equal footing with the BMW X3 xDrive30i.
Top speed is an electronically limited 180km/h, with power sent to the rear wheels, creating a classic BMW driving experience. Thanks to cutting-edge battery cell technology, BMW has also been able to substantially increase battery capacity.
A gross energy content of 80kWh, of which 74kWh is utilised, and the high efficiency of the drive systems allow the new BMW iX3 to offer a range of up to 460 kilometres in the WLTP test cycle.
The iX3’s innovative charging unit, which sends power to both the 400V battery and the 12V on-board power supply, represents another new fifth-generation eDrive technical feature making its debut.
Fifth-generation eDrive technology combines with advanced innovations to give the BMW iX3 extraordinary long-distance capability. Adaptive energy recuperation tools enhance efficiency and driving comfort during journeys.
The intensity of the brake energy regeneration is automatically adapted to the road situation, facilitated by data from the navigation system and the driver assistance system sensors.
The standard adaptive suspension includes electronically-controlled dampers that continuously alter settings to adapt to the road surface and situation at hand. This enables carefully judged optimisation of the car’s ride comfort and dynamics.
The electric power train character and model-specific chassis tuning infuse the new BMW iX3 with sporty, agile driving attributes. A highly-responsive ARB (wheel slip regulation) system, gives the new BMW iX3 astonishing traction in adverse weather conditions too.
In terms of charging, the newly developed flexible fast charger cable will be available for the first time on the BMW iX3 and can be hooked up to both domestic and industrial sockets with adapters.
In addition, a smart wall box will be made available through various partners, depending on the market. It can be integrated into an existing home power management system, enabling record-keeping of energy expenditure for home charging.
The new cloud-based navigation system, BMW Maps, enables route and arrival times to be calculated with even greater speed and precision. The E-Route function offers improved recommendations for mid-journey stops to charge the high-voltage battery.
It also provides useful information on charging stations, such as availability, connector type, rate of charging and authentication method required, as well as points of interest in the surrounding area.
The BMW iX3 is equipped as standard with BMW Operating System 7.0, allowing every line of software code in the car to be updated over the air. Versatility is also reflected with spaciousness on par with conventionally powered BMW X3 model variants.
Thanks to the 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat backrest, load capacity can be increased from 510 to a maximum of 1,560 litres. The debut of BMW IconicSounds Electric in the BMW iX3 provides acoustic feedback to enrich the electric driving experience as well.
Every driving state is accompanied by a matching acoustic pattern. When the Start/Stop button is pressed, a short sound composition can be heard, setting the scene for the electric driving experience.
Load changes are signaled by a smoothly modulated sound, while recuperation during overrun and braking are marked by a gently filtered acoustic response.
The drive sound is an original work by BMW’s sound designers and acoustic engineers, while a simulated start/stop sound was designed by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and BMW sound designer Renzo Vital.
The exterior design of the new BMW iX3 retains proportions of an SAV, maintaining visual all-round purposefulness and a robust premium character. It also alludes to its emission-free drive system without diluting core SAV attributes in any way.
Specific design features optimise aerodynamic properties while lending visual expression to its sustainability-focused drive concept. The front apron and BMW kidney grille have a largely enclosed design, while the rear end has been sculpted to reduce air resistance.
Innovative, aerodynamically designed light-alloy wheels help to control the flow of air around the vehicle. This is achieved with the help of sophisticated inserts in the V-spoke base wheel, keeping air flowing far more smoothly.
High quality materials, clearly-structured controls and stylish designs integrated with understated blue accents, inside and out, to provide the new BMW iX3 a highly premium ambiance, typically associated with a BMW SAV.
The 2021 BMW iX3 will arrive in Australia by mid-2021, with information on pricing and equipment levels to be announced closer to its launch.