BMW Concept iX3 EV gets official in China

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It represents the next step in BMW's electric-car strategy, which sees BMW complementing today's i3 and i8 with a range of fully electric versions of its core models.

That figure places it on par with the Jaguar I-Pace unveiled in Geneva last month and the Audi e-tron quattro we'll see before the end of the year.

The BMW Concept iX3 underscores the BMW Group's resolve to further strengthen its leading position in the field of electric mobility.

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The BMW Concept iX3 has been revealed at the Beijing Motor Show, previewing an electric X3 SUV for 2020 with 266bhp and a 70kWh battery.

The new fifth-generation electric drivetrain draws its power from a high-voltage battery pack that is said to deliver a range of up to 249 miles on the WLTP cycle.

The iX3 is also part of BMW's strategy to bring 12 fully-electric vehicles to market by 2025. "This offers the opportunity to equip models of all our brands with various powertrains", BMW said.

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However, the remainder of the design is still very much in the ilk of the popular family SUV. Another notable element is that the electric motor does not need any rare earths, which means the BMW Group is not dependent on their availability. And that means a pure combustion engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or battery-electric solution can be integrated into any model, as desired. This allows the electric drivetrain to be more easily fitted in different vehicles.

The BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture will produce the future series-production version of the BMW Concept iX3 in Shenyang, China.

Under the skin is BMW's latest electric powertrain which bundles the motor, transmission and electronics in to a new Electric Drive Component, with more dense batteries offering weight and packaging advantages too. The biggest change is certainly the standard kidney grille, which has been replaced with the linked unit inspired from the iVision Dynamics Concept.

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The body of the auto is generally similar to the internal combustion X3, save for key design tweaks to show off its green credentials. Overall, the iX3 sports a striking design with the Moonstone Silver matte colour scheme. There's also lots of blue highlighting to reinforce the car's electric credentials, while it also gets "aerodynamically optimised" alloy wheels.

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