BMW’s upcoming electric crossover, the iX3, appears to have been revealed in production guise.
Appearing on the Instagram page of a user, scott26.unofficial, leaked images show an iX3 that looks much like the 2018 concept car.
There’s only one key difference: a revised grille that retains the classic double kidney shape.
The iX3 concept (left), like the iNext concept, used a grille in which the two separate elements were conjoined.
While the iX3 concept’s grille was quite inoffensive – certainly less so than the exaggerated, plunging, dumbbell-shaped grille on the 2018 iNext concept – feedback on the electric concept’s grille sent BMW designers back to the drawing board.
On the iNext’s controversial grille, design chief Domagoj Dukec told Autocar, “We connected the kidneys because of sensors, but we’ve decided not to do it. It wasn’t considered to be a BMW kidney grille any more.”
“The grille is critical, so the iNext, the i4 and the iX3 will get separated kidneys – we spent the money to have sensors that can see through the chrome.”
Elsewhere on the leaked iX3 images, we can see the blue accenting BMW has used on previous electric and electrified vehicles like the i3 and i8.
It’s used in the same spots as on the concept (below). The wheels are also the same.
Production of the iX3 was set to begin this year, however that announcement preceded the COVID-19 crisis.
It’ll be in Australia during 2021, although exactly when remains to be seen.
As it’ll be manufactured and exported from BMW Brilliance Automotive’s plant in Shenyang, China – which resumed operations on February 17 – a production start this year could still be on the cards.
It uses a 74kWh battery pack and has a total system output of 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
Power is sent to the rear wheels only. BMW has yet to confirm if an all-wheel drive variant will follow.
The company claims its EV SUV will have an electric driving range of 440km under the stricter WLTP test cycle.
Crucially, BMW also claims that due to the position of the battery pack under the floor, there’s no loss of cabin or luggage space.
BMW says the manufacturing of the iX3’s battery pack doesn’t require the use of rare earth metals. BMW also promises old units will be repurposed as stationary battery packs.