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2021 BMW iX3: Audi E-Tron rival here mid next year

Better late than never, right? BMW has waded into the electric SUV battle with the iX3, here next year.

3 months ago
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Scott Collie
News Editor

BMW has finally joined the all-electric SUV crowd.

Jaguar got the jump with the I-Pace, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz followed shortly afterwards with the E-Tron and EQC respectively.

Now, the BMW iX3 has emerged. It’ll be in Australia in the middle of next year with 459km of range and a soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer.

Under the floor sits a 74kWh (usable, 80kWh net) lithium-ion battery pack, hooked up to a single electric motor on the rear axle.

With 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque, it punches the iX3 to 100km/h in just 6.8 seconds from standstill.

That isn’t slow, but it’s interesting BMW hasn’t followed in the footsteps of its rivals by offering dual-motor all-wheel drive.

The official line is the rear-wheel drive setup delivers a traditionally BMW driving experience. The fact it’s helped BMW deliver a claimed WLTP range more that’s 100km more impressive than that of the base Audi E-Tron can’t have hurt either.

At home, the iX3 can be charged at 11kW using a wall box. Plugged into a DC fast charger, it’ll recharge at 150kW.

That means an 80 per cent charge takes just 34 minutes, but BMW says owners can gain 100km of range in 10 minutes if a splash-and-dash is more your style.

Along with traditional regenerative braking when the driver lifts off the accelerator, the car is capable of coasting at highway speeds.

Although the iX3 will automatically tailor its regeneration to the road conditions, drivers can flick through three different levels manually.

BMW has adapted its satellite navigation system to account for electric charge stations on long journeys, helping route drivers to a public charge point as the battery runs down.

As the iX3 name suggests, this isn’t a standalone model like the Audi E-Tron. It’s based on the X3, and has been styled as such.

Although there are unique grilles, wheels, and blue details on the body, the exterior isn’t as futuristic as either the EQC or E-Tron, let alone the segment-busting I-Pace.

BMW hasn’t revealed any images of the iX3’s cabin, but says the 510L boot expands to 1560L with the rear seats folded 40/20/40.


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