BMW has officially unveiled the BMW iX3

BMW has officially unveiled the BMW iX3, the all-electric SUV based on the BMW X3. It is priced at €68,000 (about $77,500) and will be sold in Europe and China, where the iX3 is manufactured. Let’s take a closer look.

Exterior

BMW calls the X3 range as a Sports Activity Vehicle rather than the traditional SUV moniker because of its relatively smaller size and its focus on road usability. That said, the exterior of the iX3 remains largely unscathed after its electric treatment. Blue accents around the vehicle symbolise its an electric BMW. The front apron and the classic BMW kidney grille has an enclosed design and the rear of the iX3 has also been sculpted in order to reduce drag and increase aerodynamic efficiency. The wheels are now aerodynamically designed which further reduces the drag coefficient by around 5 per cent compared to traditional alloy wheels and this adds 10 km of added range. All the aerodynamic advancements made to the iX3 combine to give a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29.

Interior

The Blue accents continue it’s way inside the interior too, emphasizing its electric drive system.

The iX3 still retains all the practicality and spaciousness associated with an SUV. A 40:20:40 split seat arrangement that can be folded increase the luggage capacity from 510 to a maximum of 1,560 litres. BMW debuts it’s BMW IconicSounds showcased earlier in the i4 concept. This function provides acoustic feedback with a sound pattern to every driving action which increases involvement as well as keeps the driver alert and aware of his actions. For example, when the Start/Stop button is pressed, the speakers play a short melody.

Customers have a choice of 2 available trim lines. These are separated on the basis of the available standard features.

The standard trim is the Inspiring trim level and it is well equipped with a list of tech features. Users get metallic paintwork, LED headlights, a panoramic glass sunroof, 19-inch aerodynamic wheels that we mentioned earlier, power boot door, sports steering wheel, ambient lighting, electrically adjustable seats with a memory function for the driver and three-zone automatic climate control system including pre-heating and pre-conditioning function. Users also get a list of driver aids such as Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go functionality, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning, Parking sensors at front and rear, a tyre pressure indicator and an alarm system. The instrument cluster now features BMW Live Cockpit Professional. Smartphone functionality like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and even features wireless charging and an audio system with DAB tuner among other features.

The higher “Impressive” trim features a bigger 20-inch aerodynamically optimised wheels, Adaptive LED headlights, Head-Up Display, High Beam Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus including a rearview camera. On the inside, users get acoustic glazing for the front door windows, Vernasca leather trim and front sports seats with lumbar support. BMW gesture

control and a Harman Kardon surround sound system are also included.

Performance

The iX3 is powered by a 210 kW/286 hp electric motor powering the rear wheels, producing a peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft). This propels the iX3 to a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in just 6.8 seconds. BMW claims the power density of the electric motor in the BMW iX3 is 30 per cent greater than other fully electric vehicles from BMW. Top speed is electronically limited to 180 km/h (112 mph). The claimed range is 459 kilometres (285 miles) in the WLTP test cycle and up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle. The BMW eDrive technology allows charging outputs up to 150 kW, charging both the 400V battery and the 12V onboard power supply. This means the BMW iX3 can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in 34 minutes. 10 minutes of charging can add 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the car’s driving range.

To optimise range and efficiency, features like the E-Route function offers recommendations for mid-journey stops to charge the high-voltage battery. It calculates the distance to the next charging station and also provides useful information about those charging stations.

Adaptive recuperation function enhances the efficiency and intensity of the Brake Energy Regeneration system is modified constantly to the road situation described by data from the navigation system and the driver assistance system sensors.

Handling

BMW says the electric powertrain hasn’t dampened the handling characteristics of the iX3. The battery pack lowers the car’s centre of gravity by around 7.5 centimetres compared to its traditionally IC powered BMW X3 siblings, which enhances its lateral dynamics. The iX3 also gets standard adaptive suspension that includes electronically controlled Dampers. Customers can opt for an optional Adaptive M suspension is tuned to deliver particularly sporty damper response. The ARB traction system, also found in the BMW i3 offers high levels of traction in adverse weather conditions and on loose grounds.

The iX3 will be offered with the newly developed Flexible Fast Charger cable and can be hooked up to both standard domestic and industrial sockets by using adapters. Customers can purchase Smart Wallbox available through various partners which can be integrated into an existing home management system and allows them to track power consumption and usage. BMW is offered to customers which enables access to more than 450,000 public charging stations worldwide.

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