The all electric BMW iX3 is here and BMW has no intention to bring it to the US market. Why? The answer is range. Apparently US dealers didn’t think that the 74-kilowatt-hour pack and the estimated range would have sold in the US.
BMW’s own estimates (which are typically more generous than the EPA) reveal a car that could have been an interesting stop-gap for the brand while we wait for the all electric iNext crossover.
The iX3’s electric motor, power electronics and transmission are arranged in a central housing for the first time. The 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. What the EPA would have gotten is anyone’s guess, but anything over 250 would have made this viable for many potential owners.
Performance is also impressive with the fifth-generation BMW eDrive electric motor producing 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].
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.
The new BMW iX3 blazes a trail for the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. Major progress was made in terms of power density, operating range, weight, installation space requirement and flexibility. Power density of the electric drive system has 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 is up by 20 percent. The 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.
Charging the iX3 is similar to the recently release MINI Cooper SE. With a 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).