BMW Australia’s electric range will be three strong by next year when the iX3 joins the iX and i4 in the final quarter of 2021.
The 2022 BMW iX3 has been on sale in China and Europe since early this year with the midsize electric SUV set to debut in Australia in the final quarter of this year.
BMW’s iX3, however, does not sit on the marque’s new all-electric architecture. Instead, like the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the Chinese-built iX3 sits on an adapted version of the regular BMW X3’s cluster architecture.
That means the BMW X3 will be one of the rare cars offered with the buyer’s choice of petrol, diesel, PHEV and pure electric power.
While it may not utilise a dedicated platform, BMW’s range claims for the iX3 are encouraging. In the combined WLTP cycle it recorded a range of 460km which is pretty comparable to the forthcoming Tesla Model Y (505km).
The iX3 is capable of juicing its 80kWh (74kWh usable) lithium-ion battery pack at a rate of 150kW at DC fast-charging stations. That means if you can find a fast enough station, you’ll be able to add 100km of range in 10 minutes. Charging from 10-80 per cent takes only 32 minutes.
BMW’s battery technology also means that the packs are split up into ten modules which can be replaced individually.
Naturally, a battery regen system is present. With the drive selector in ‘B’, the recuperation is at its highest, offering a one-pedal driving experience. When left alone, the iX3 adjusts regen depending on the situation with the ability to detect whether the vehicle is on a highway or city streets to maximise efficiency.
In the X3 range, the iX3 will sit above the M40i ($113,471 plus ORC) in price terms. The iX3 uses a single motor to generate its 210kW/400Nm outputs and is only available in rear-wheel drive.
Still, the iX3’s standard sprint claim of 6.8 seconds and 180km/h top speed should be adequate.
A notable advantage of the electric powertrain in the iX3 is the 7.5cm drop in centre of gravity compared to the piston car.
To cope with the different weight distribution, new wheel design and different driving characteristics, BMW has gone to great lengths in adjusting the iX3’s suspension settings – this is not just an X3 with batteries under the bonnet.
The M Sport equipped iX3’s silhouette may be nearly identical to the piston cars, but the blue detailing, bespoke 20-inch alloy wheels and low-drag grille distinguish the i model from its petrol brethren.
Inside is more familiar. The iX3 lifts the cabin straight from combustion X3s with the same 12.3-inch touchscreen in the centre and a digital driver’s display with navigation function to complement it.
Other niceties include leather-appointed heated and electrically adjustable front seats, a power tailgate, ambient lighting, Harman Kardon sound system, DAB radio, wireless charging with wireless Apple CarPlay and gesture control.
Additionally, buyers will be able to option laser headlights in place of the standard LED items ($2,000), while the $2,000 shadow package adds piano black exterior trim, black kidney grilles and privacy glass.
The BMW iX3 is set to land in Australia in the first quarter of 2022 priced from $114,900 (plus ORC).
Prices listed are before on-road costs
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BMW doubles down on “power of choice” plan to provide petrol, diesel, electric options on every model