BMW has been spotted testing its brand-new iX3 all-electric crossover hinting at an imminent unveil and subsequent launch, possibly in 2020. BMW is already a bit late to the segment with Audi having confirmed the e-Tron SUV for production this year, and Mercedes-Benz EQC following suit a few months later.
BMW had previewed the iX3 in concept form at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show.
BMW floated its ‘i’ sub brand way back in 2011, conceived as an umbrella under which Munich would develop and market alternate energy vehicles. With global demand for EVs scaling up at a pace faster than it had originally surmised, BMW altered its strategy by using the ‘i’ brand solely for autonomous and connected driving tech. All the firm’s mainstream models are set to get alternative powertrains in the future.
BMW has announced it will roll out 12 all-electric models by 2025 on a Group level. The first of these will be an electric Mini hatchback. This will be followed an electric version of the BMW X3, the concept of which the German carmaker previewed as iX3 in Beijing in 2018.
Recently, spy shots surfaced of a BMW iX3 being tested somewhere in Germany. It wears blue-tinted camouflage on its front and rear bumpers hinting at its electric heart. There are no exhaust tips, and the kidney grille up front is sealed. The front doors have labels on them that read “Electric Test Vehicle”. Finally, a charging port is visible on the driver’s side front.
Absence of tailpipes and the sealed kidney grille mark this prototype out as an EV.
BMW is promising a range of at least 400km from the iX3. With today’s advancements in fast-charging technology, the firm also claims the iX3 can refill its battery pack in just above 30 minutes using specific chargers.
BMW will likely unveil the iX3 in the latter half of this year with production scheduled to commence sometime in 2020. This means that it won’t be too far behind Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
Spy shots credit: Auto Express