BMW previewed an all-electric X3 at the Beijing auto show this week. Although just a concept, it shouldn’t be too far off from production, and it boasts a claimed range of 249 miles.
We already knew BMW was planning to introduce an electric X3. Last year, BMW CEO Harald Krüger said the fully electric X3 will launch in 2020.
The concept shown in Beijing shares its bones with the regular X3, but it features a specially developed rear axle subframe and specific chassis integration. Plus, it has unique design cues including a reinterpretation of the brand’s kidney grille as well as blue exterior accents and aerodynamically optimized wheels.
The BMW Concept iX3 gets a next generation electric drive system that uses more powerful batteries. It also clusters together the motor, transmission, and power electronics into a new, separate electric drive component. BMW says it has reduced the weight of individual components of the drive system, and they fit into a flexible modular design structure so they can be used in different ways.
The electric motor produces 270 hp, making it more powerful than the base 2.0-liter turbo inline-four that pumps out 248 hp on the BMW X3 sold here in the U.S. With a battery capacity of 70 kilowatt-hours, BMW estimates a range of 249 miles on the global WLTP cycle, although it’s unclear what this would translate to on the EPA scale. But we do know the global model can recharge in as little as 30 minutes because the electric drive system is compatible with fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kilowatts.
BMW says it will produce the final version in Shenyang, China. The all-electric X3 is just one of many new electrified vehicles BMW plans to launch in the coming years. By 2025, BMW wants to expand its lineup to include 25 electrified vehicles, 12 of which will be pure EVs. BMW will present the iNext in 2021, and it will be able to travel 435 miles on a single charge. The electric X3 will share the “technological basis” underpinning the powertrain of the iNext, BMW says.