The first fully electric X model from the German brand, the iX3 is based on the regular X3 compact SUV, which is the first in BMW’s range to offer EV, plug-in hybrid and conventional petrol and diesel drivetrains.
The iX3 is powered by a single 282bhp, 295lb ft electric motor which, in typical BMW fashion, drives the rear wheels. It offers similar performance to the petrol xDrive30i, with a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds, although the top speed is electronically limited to 112mph. An 80kWh battery offers a maximum range of 279 miles and features 150kW fast charging to allow owners to add 62 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes.
When it goes on sale in summer 2021 the iX3 will come in two UK-specific trims Premier Edition and Premier Edition Pro, both of which BMW says will offer significant specification upgrades over the current X3.
All cars will come with a choice of just four colours - Carbon Black, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue or Sophisto Grey - and the option of brushed aluminium or black high gloss exterior trim. Twenty-inch alloys, an automatic tailgate, adaptive suspension and a panoramic sunroof complete the exterior look.
Inside Vernasca leather upholstery, ambient lighting, wireless phone charging, heated front seats and the brand’s latest driver assistance technology are standard on both models.
Drivers paying the additional £3,000 for the Premium Edition Pro will also get a head-up display, Harman Kardon surround sound, gesture control for the infotainment system, parking assistant plus, automatic high beam assistant, comfort access and lumbar support. A soundscape linked to the motor’s performance and developed in collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer will feed into the cabin, changing depending on throttle position and speed.
Although it is largely a standard X3 from the outside, the iX3 gets slight bodywork changes to aid aerodynamics and improve range, plus unique lightweight alloys and blue accents to signify its electric drivetrain.
All models include many of the EV-specific features from the i3, including sat nav that offers recommendations for charging stops, information on points of interest near public charging stations and the ability to filter search results by fast-charging points. They also all come with a 10.25-inch central touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument display, over the air updates and smartphone support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.