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2020 BMW iX3 (G08)


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WORLD PREMIERE: BMW iX3 — The Beginning of a New Era

The days of the BMW 2002, E30 3 Series and E39 5 Series are gone. BMW is just not the same company it used to be and enthusiasts are just going to have to accept that. To be fair to BMW, there’s no other direction for the brand to go. The world is moving in a certain direction and if BMW wants to continue to survive and have success, it’s going to need to change with the rest of the world. As cars become more and more electrified, automated and connected, BMW needs to adapt and shift much of its strategy towards those types of cars. And that’s exactly what it’s doing, as the Bavarian brand plans to launch several new electrified vehicles by 2025. The first of this new electric offensive is this — the BMW iX3.

Debuting for the first time ever, at the Beijing Auto Show, the BMW iX3 will showcase the Bavarian brand’s newest electric car. It’s the latest offering in BMW’s “ACES” (Automated, Connected, Electrified and Services) field of automobiles and it’s also part of BMW’s Number One > NEXT strategy.




The BMW iX3 is built on the already existing BMW X3 chassis, however, some unique changes were made for electric duty. For instance, the iX3 receives a new rear subframe and modifications to fit a battery pack and electric motor. This will be the first in flexible architectures for BMW, which will all be able to accommodate internal combustion engines as well as electric powertrains. For now, though, the BMW iX3 is built on an X3 chassis, which is capable of being modified for EV duty.


Its BMW X3 roots are clearly visible when looking at it. The BMW iX3 sports an entirely new face, new rear end and new wheels. Aside from that, though, it’s not all that different-looking from a normal fuel-burning X3. Although, it must be said that it looks quite impressive. It’s not just an X3 with some blue badges on it, nor is it an ultra techno-fest. It looks like what we’d imagine the X3 to look like in twenty years.




So at the front, its kidney grilles are replaced with sort of faux grilles, as electric cars don’t need air cooling. It’s a closed grille unit and it looks good, as it still shows off the classic BMW kidney grille design without have an actual grille. It’s a much better alternative to Tesla’s Matrix-like mouth. Down the side, it looks like a standard X3, except for the blue highlight down the side skirt and the charging port that’s been cleverly incorporated into the Air Breather.

Out back, it gets a new rear bumper and two little blue bits where exhausts pipes used to go, which also create a subtle rear diffuser. They look cool are sort of throwbacks to the exhaust pipes on “old” internal combustion engine cars. And the color you’re looking at is Moonstone Silver Matt, which looks every bit as high-tech as it actually is.

BMW hasn’t released any photos of the inside yet but we’re assuming it’s going to look a lot like the standard X3. If it’s funkier and more stylish, due to being an electric car, we’ll be happy campers.


By now, you’re likely wondering what sort of powertrain and battery pack the iX3 is packing. It uses BMW’s fifth-generation of electric motor that’s been developed specifically for SAVs (BMW Speak for Sport Activity Vehicle). Being that “Motor” is literally BMW’s middle name, it had opted to build its own electric powertrains, rather than outsource them. The BMW iX3 will make 270 hp and a total range of 249 miles. While 249 miles is not exactly cross-country capable, it’s more than enough for the standard customer daily.

Thanks to 150 kW charging, the BMW iX3 won’t leave you stranded for hours while you sit around, waiting for it to charge. With 150 kWh, it’s said that it can charge almost 100 percent in just 30 minutes. That’s enough time to go to the bathroom, grab a cup of coffee and get back on the road. So while its 249 miles isn’t world-beating, it’s more than good enough.


Fans will cry heresy at the very notion of an all-electric BMW X3. However. we’re sort of jazzed out it. The iX3 will be the beginning of a new chapter in BMW’s history and we can’t wait to see how it turns out. For now, it looks good, has promising specs and should be decently quick. Let’s just hope it sells.



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BMW will export iX3 electric SUV to Europe, U.S. from China

April 25, 2018 @ 1:25 am
Elisabeth Behrmann
The iX3 concept, shown, previews an SUV that will compete with Jaguar's I-Pace crossover and Audi's Q6 E-Tron.

Just as China's trade relations with the U.S. are at their worst in years, BMW is laying the groundwork to start exporting from its biggest market to buyers around the world including in North America.

BMW plans to begin producing its first full-electric SUV, dubbed the iX3, in 2020 at its joint-venture plant in the northern city of Shenyang, and will sell the model abroad, according to partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd.

BMW is offering buyers an early taste of the car with the Concept iX3 concept unveiled Wednesday at the Beijing auto show.

The iX3 project makes BMW the first major luxury-car maker to ship high-tech vehicles from China, in a sign consumers no longer equate the country with cheap products. It positions the Shenyang site to supply SUVs to the U.S., the second-biggest market for BMW, even with the question of higher American tariffs against Chinese-made goods still up in the air. The government’s Made in China 2025 development drive is giving foreign carmakers more confidence their local joint-venture factories have the technology suitable for exports.

“As long as the vehicle is built properly, and BMW will make sure of that, it doesn’t matter too much to consumers where the car comes from,” said Tim Urquhart, an automotive analyst at market researcher IHS Markit. “This will see a low-volume vehicle being made at a low-cost site.”

The Chinese industry faces even more sweeping changes after authorities this month outlined plans to ease foreign-ownership restrictions on automakers that could eventually enable the manufacturers from abroad to buy out their local partners.

BMW’s choice of China as the sole initial production site for its first electric SUV also shows the shifting focus of the industry. The iX3 will further help the Munich-based company, which already manufactures a plug-in hybrid version of its X1 SUV in China, meet tightening emissions rules in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market.

“Carmakers have to have electric-vehicle production in China in any case,” said Mark Fulthorpe, also at IHS. “China has been getting more consideration for export, even if that means sharing profits with joint-venture partners.”

The iX3, which will be able to travel 400 kilometers (250 miles) on a fully charged battery, can be exported after the BMW partnership gained a license last year to ship it outside China.

The model will enter the fast-growing premium electric-SUV segment after Jaguar’s I-Pace crossover and Audi’s Q6 E-Tron, which are scheduled for initial deliveries later this year, and the Mercedes-Benz EQ C crossover coming out in 2019.

So far, foreign carmakers have exported only a limited number of Chinese-made vehicles, preferring to offer them domestically in place of imports that would attract steep levies. General Motors has sold a few Cadillacs and Buicks outside the country, while Swedish manufacturer Volvo Cars -- now Chinese-owned -- has shipped some S60 sedans to the U.S. The biggest step so far in terms of volume is Ford’s decision last year to shift the Focus compact’s production from North America to Chongqing, a move expected to save $1 billion in costs.

BMW’s only fully battery-powered model is the i3 city car, introduced in 2013. An electric model from the Mini small-car brand will enter showrooms next year. The iX3, which will be based on the existing X3 SUV to save costs, is part of BMW’s strategy to roll out at least 12 all-electric cars by 2025. The carmakers is under pressure to contain ballooning development costs that will hit about 7 billion euros ($8.7 billion) this year, an increase of some 15 percent on top of an 18 percent jump in 2017.

Unlike bigger rivals like Volkswagen Group, which comprises 12 vehicle brands, BMW has limited options to spread technology costs between its namesake badge and Mini. Placing the iX3 in China will put the car at the heart of a market that Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates accounted for 49 percent of the 1.1 million electric vehicles sold globally last year.




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