BMW iX3 Debuts With 70-kWh Battery, 249-Mile Range

APR 25 2018 BY ADRIAN PADEANU 59

The concept will morph into a fully electric version of the X3 in 2020.

BMW is signaling its intentions towards launching a fully electric X3 with the Concept iX3 debuting today on the dawn of the Beijing Motor Show. The styling takes after the conventionally powered crossover, but there are some changes that set it apart, such as the new look for the closed-off kidney grille with blue accents in the same vein as the i Vision Dynamics, itself another concept bound to become an electric production model (i4).

Related – BMW iX3 Will Herald In Automaker’s 5th Generation EV Powertrain

More blue accents can be noticeable at the front fascia and along the side skirts, as well as at the back for the diffuser. As for the body itself, BMW decided to go with a Moonstone Silver shade featuring a matte finish while the wheels were designed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind.

The iX3 benefits from BMW’s fifth-generation electric drive system and offers an output of 270 horsepower (200 kilowatts). Thanks to a large battery pack featuring a capacity of more than 70 kWh, the electric crossover can cover more than 249 miles (400 kilometers) between charges as per the new and more realistic Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) cycle.

If you’re in a hurry, the BMW iX3 can be connected to a fast-charging station generating up to 150 kW to reduce the time necessary to fully recharge the high-voltage battery to just 30 minutes. Needless to say, the iX3 is only a concept for the time being and as such you can’t buy it, but hopefully the production version coming in 2020 will carry over this feature. A year later, BMW will introduce the iNext set to serve as the company’s flagship EV with a rumored range of up to 435 miles (700 kilometers) as well as an advanced autonomous driving system.

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Press blast below:

The BMW Concept iX3

Electric mobility arrives at the core of BMW.

Munich. The BMW Group is pushing ahead with its electrification strategy by extending the reach of its all-electric mobility offering to the company’s core brands. The BMW Concept iX3 – presented for the first time at the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing – offers a look ahead to the expansion of the model line-up in this area. The first model from the BMW brand to be driven purely by electric power will be a fully-fledged Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) – and without compromises when it comes to functionality and comfort.

The BMW Concept iX3 underscores the BMW Group’s resolve to further strengthen its leading position in the field of electric mobility. The expansion of the company’s range of vehicles offering locally emission-free mobility is one of the central spheres of activity defined by the Automated, Connected, Electrified and Services (ACES) technological fields, on which the company is driving forward the transformation of the mobility sector as part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy.

The expansion of locally emission-free mobility vehicles is one of the key areas of centralized action, alongside with automated driving, high-end connectivity and new digital services, which are driving the company’s transformation of the mobility industry as part of the NUMBER ONE> NEXT strategy. Under the generic term “iNext”, and as an enabler for the entire BMW Group, the future-model-kit is now being developed, in which the BMW Concept iX3 is playing a key role

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Among the innovations showcased in the BMW Concept iX3 is the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology. A key benefit of this electric drive technology of the future is the grouping together of the electric motor, transmission and power electronics within a new, separate electric drive component. Plus, the fifth-generation electric drive system also includes new and more powerful batteries. This fresh package of technology brings considerable advances in terms of performance characteristics, operating range, weight, packaging space and flexibility – and will be making its debut in the purely electrically-driven SAV.

The unparalleled technological expertise of BMW i has also played a prominent role in the development of the fifth-generation electric drive system, providing further evidence of BMW i as a nerve centre for sustainable mobility. The transfer of the drive system technology originally developed for BMW i cars into vehicles from the BMW Group’s core brands is entering a new dimension here.
Fully electrified vehicles of the core brand will in future bear a BMW i brand logo. This is visible in the concept vehicle both in the side and in the rear. BMW eDrive technology today already is part of the plug-in hybrid drive system employed by the BMW iPerformance models and MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. In the BMW Concept iX3, the next, highly integrated development stage of this technology delivers all-electric mobility. The future series-production version of the electrically powered SAV will therefore also benefit from the technological basis underpinning the powertrain of the BMW iNext, due to be presented in 2021.

Flexible architecture enables sustainable mobility.
With the world premiere of the BMW Concept iX3, the BMW Group is opening a new chapter in its electrification strategy. The future will see the company’s flexible, further developed vehicle architectures accommodating all types of front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. This will pave the way for models from all the company’s brands to be equipped with different drive system variants. And that means a pure combustion engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or battery-electric solution can be integrated into any model, as desired.

The launch of the fifth-generation electric drive system technology once again makes integration into different vehicle architectures significantly easier. The individual components of this new BMW eDrive technology stand out with their lower weight, scalability and extremely compact construction. Added to which, they fit into a flexible modular design structure and can therefore be utilised in a variety of different ways. BMW’s approach to highly integrated electric drive system technology can in future be applied to a large number of different models.

In order to exploit this potential, the vehicle architectures of current and future models from all the company’s brands will allow for the integration of different drive system variants. In this way, the BMW Group will be able to meet the ever increasing need for electrified vehicles with a wealth of different variants tailored to meet specific demand. The BMW X3, on which the concept vehicle is based, is one of the first models whose architecture demonstrates this flexibility. In addition, the BMW Concept iX3 features a specially developed rear axle subframe and specific chassis integration.

Scalable components, flexible production.
The fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology is distinguished by its extremely compact design. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are now grouped into a single component, making it much easier to integrate them into different vehicle architectures. Plus, their modular construction enables them to be adapted to the performance levels required and the available space. Another notable element is that the electric motor does not need any rare earths, which means the BMW Group is not dependent on their availability.

The modular design approach has also been further optimised in the development of the next-generation high-voltage battery. The experience amassed by BMW i and the company’s established expertise in the areas of cell technology and cell design have been rigorously applied to further enhance the performance, energy content, charging capability and durability of the battery. Moreover, production of battery cell prototypes enables full analysis and understanding of the value creation processes for the cells and prepares potential suppliers for cell production according to specific requirements.

Like the vehicle architectures and eDrive technology of the future, the BMW Group’s international production network is also set up to provide a high level of flexibility – in this case for the production of models with electric drive systems. Indeed, electrified vehicles are already rolling off assembly lines at ten BMW Group locations around the world. The eDrive components for these vehicles are supplied by production facilities in Dingolfing (Germany), Shenyang (China) and Spartanburg in the US. BMW Group Plant Dingolfing plays a leading role here as the network’s centre of expertise for electric drive systems.

The BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture will produce the future series-production version of the BMW Concept iX3 in Shenyang, China.

BMW Concept iX3 with more than 200 kW/270 hp electric motor and a WLTP range of more than 400 kilometres (249 miles).
The BMW Concept iX3 represents another milestone on the road to locally emission-free driving under the BMW Group’s electrification strategy. And so a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) once again blazes a trail for a new and groudbreaking form of BMW’s fabled driving pleasure. The current BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance (petrol consumption combined: 3.4 – 3.3 l/100 km [83.1 – 85.6 mpg imp]; electric power consumption combined: 15.4 – 15.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 78 – 77 g/km) made its debut in 2015 as the BMW core brand’s first plug-in hybrid model. And the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 presented in 2009 was the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe with a full-hybrid drive system.

The BMW Concept iX3 previews the fusion of the multi-faceted driving pleasure for which BMW X models are renowned and a locally emission-free drive system. The version of the fifth-generation electric motor developed for the SAV generates maximum output of over 200 kW/270 hp. The likewise model-specific high-voltage battery has a net capacity of over 70 kWh, which is enough to give the electric SAV a range of more than 400 kilometres (249 miles) in the WLTP cycle.

Another feature of the high-voltage battery developed for the fifth generation of eDrive technology is its optimised charging capability. The energy storage system has a newly developed Charging Control Unit and is designed to be hooked up to fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kW. The high-voltage battery can be charged in just 30 minutes from one of these stations.

Electric mobility also means a differentiation in design.
In the front, the kidney and the brand emblem show the affiliation with the BMW i brand. The closed double kidney with the blue accentuation continues the BMW i Vision Dynamics brand already featured in the BMW i Vision Dynamics. The closed area within the kidney reduces air resistance, providing aerodynamic benefits.

Identifying features of the BMW Concept iX3 include a closed-off BMW kidney grille with familiar BMW i car graphic, BMW i Blue accents around the kidney, around the brand logo at the front and along the side skirts, and a diffuser element in the same colour integrated in the rear apron. These styling cues provide a striking contrast against the Moonstone Silver matt exterior paint finish. The concept study is also fitted with light-alloy wheels in an aerodynamically optimised design.

Alongside the world premiere of the BMW Concept iX3 and the BMW i Vision Dynamics study also on display in Beijing, the BMW Group is also highlighting the spectrum of design differentiation between the BMW and BMW i brands. The styling of the BMW i Vision Dynamics is characterised by the pioneering design language developed exclusively for BMW i models. The signature looks of BMW i cars will also mark out future models from the brand. This study of a first all-electric model from BMW is clearly defined by the robust and sophisticated all-round character of an SAV, which remains unaffected by the presence of a locally emission-free drive system under the skin.
The electric drive will be visible through the design elements from the BMW i design language in the exterior design mentioned above.

About BMW i
BMW i is a BMW Group brand focusing on connected mobility services, visionary vehicle concepts and a new understanding of premium strongly defined by sustainability. BMW i is represented in 54 countries with the BMW i3 electric car for urban areas, BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and plug-in hybrid BMW iPerformance Automobiles.

BMW i opens up new target groups for the company and serves as an incubator for innovations. Technologies which have debuted successfully in BMW i cars are carried over to parent brand BMW’s other models.

BMW i is also associated with enterprises including DriveNow (car sharing), ReachNow (car sharing 2.0), ChargeNow (easy access to the world’s largest network of charging points), ParkNow (straightforward location, reservation and payment of parking spaces), venture capital company BMW i Ventures (investment in start-up companies with a focus on urban mobility), BMW Energy (energy optimisation services) and the Centre of Competence for Urban Mobility (consultancy for cities).

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59 Comments on "BMW iX3 Debuts With 70-kWh Battery, 249-Mile Range"

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Looks cool and more futuristic than the ICE version of X3. This will be a big seller and great premium alternative to the Tesla X. Sounds like it will be only RWD though, maybe 4WD version planned for later?

4wd Its BMW they will have it

Hard to say, first X3 was available in AWD and RWD versions.

I’m here in Beijing at the show and the unofficial word I’m getting is that it will indeed be available in AWD.

With a heavy steel body, and a SUV design, not sure this is going to outperform the i3.
Especially the i3 Sport.
I’d say it’s time to pull the trigger on the more advanced i3 Sport Rex.

Of course, the i3 with an upgraded battery would be even more appealing.

I’m not a big fan of the SUV ride, where every bump at road level is magnified to your head, like an inverse or upside-down pendulum. So, the 3 series is safe from competition again, except from Tesla. As a matter of fact the i3 is safe from this competition too.

If this were the only EV available from BMW, it would be great.
But, these are the guys who built the i3. They can do more.

The i3 is rumored to become a future steel/aluminum iX1. I don’t think the CFRP based i3 will last for many more years. Adds too much expense and the advantage of lightness goes away when batteries become bigger.

This right here, this car, is the supposed i3 replacement.

No it is not. It’s not even in the same segment.

And yet the demise of the i3 is rumored to happen around the same time this is rumored to be hitting the market….

If these rumors turn true, then it would be a defacto replacement, even though they are in very different segments.

Same time only because almost every car maker’s EV strategy assumes a 2021-22 inflection point to flood the market. Read this: http://www.bmwblog.com/2018/01/24/bmw-i3-could-turn-into-bmw-ix1-electric-crossover/

It’s not really a replacement for the i3. It’s more like a coincidence that the name is similar and that it’s coming out as the i3 is rumored to be phasing out.

If there IS a real replacement for the i3, it will be an i1 or something. i3 was sort of a bad choice in the long run because that name will likely be used for the all-electric 3-series.

“With a heavy steel body, and a SUV design, not sure this is going to outperform the i3.
Especially the i3 Sport”

Are you joking? Look at USA sales, CUV, and SUV dominate, this will be a home run… Don’t think steel means heavy… BMW knows how to use Finite Element Analysis, this will be optimized and should be very competitive in mass efficiency with any BEV.

Test drive the i3. Other SUV’s feel 2 times heavier. Steel means heavy in comparison to the i3. SUV to SUV no difference.

Steel isn’t the culprit it once was. Model 3, with ~80KWh , got down to 3,800lbs, for example using steel. The engineering of uni-bodies has progressed, especially with the steel industry recognizing itself in the CAFE cross-hairs, and being rejected in favor of the aluminum F150.

Insta torque of an EV will mask a lot of the heft of a car. Put a gas engine in the i3 and it will heavier.

i3 is getting a battery upgrade so wanting for those specs

Concept??? It looks like a converted ICE. With the i3 experience I would have thought BMW would know how to build dedicated EVs by now, I guess they are looking to cut costs by using an existing platform and components.

It is dedicated enough, a modular platform most likely. This allows you pretty much all benefits of a dedicated EV platform, with maybe exception in body compromises (long hood, etc).

Cutting costs so it’s more affordable is now a bad thing??

That means ice fans will love it… Great looking car…

They been testing this car for a year now, now its to perfect the productions line and tooling for it

What is the problem then? Tesla Model S and Model 3 both look like an ICE car. Tesla Model X looks different, and is often criticized for its looks.

Looks very….BMW. Which is better than looking like the i3 (yikes!).
Nothing really “wow” about it either though.
I’m sure the price will wow…just not for the right reasons.

The i3 looks a lot like the Bolt EV (in different way). I.e., you can’t really make fun of one without making fun of the other. They are essentially the same size and profile.

So ‘not a concept looking’, should be on sale today.
If your a BMW buyer, time to get a Jag or Tesla.

I-Pace for me… but that is a different class of vehicle then this BMW

Looks great… 249 miles is enough

It’s not 249 EPA miles on 70 kWh with that car body.

I will say 230 -235 miles EPA

I’d guess 200-230

We’re getting to the point of infrastructure saturation, that it will take at least half the typical ownership period for another maker to duplicate the charging Tesla’s got. That’s *if* they try. For SUVs, it will matter more.

Maybe Bolt EV like range, of 220 Miles: Highway?

This is a concept, I expect things to change by the time it makes production, it will certainly get lowered. anything over 200 real world miles works for most people, heck I took a model 3 over the mountains last weekend and at 75-80 MPH we used 205 miles of rated range in 98 miles with no HVAC.

Am im the only one wondering why all these companies say they will have such a good car ready in 2-4 years – why not put them in the market today? And how do they know development will go as expected.

Yes, there has been nothing new this year for sale in all 50 states of the USA.

The car is already buit and being tested but the production line and tooling needs to be done and if anything that needs to be upgraded in the test cars they will be put in and redesign

My guess (and I stress, it’s ONLY A GUESS) is that in the US companies are betting they can gain an advantage by letting Nissan, GM, and Tesla run out of Federal tax incentives, so they can compete with effectively lower prices.

Seriously, university courses on governance and legislation should use the the $7,500 EV incentive as an example of how to royally screw up something that should have been very simple.

You only gain an advantage for a short time untill you lose your edge to someone else. Eventually, everyone’s on the same playing field, and there are millions of EVs on the road.

When the $7500 runs out for GM and Tesla, should just end the program and do something different on lower priced cars to help people who are less fortunate to get an EV.

They’re waiting for battery prices and availability to make such a vehicle commercially viable without killing their existing business.

It doesn’t do them any good to build an iX3 with a too-small (Leaf) or too-slow-charging (Bolt) battery. Or to build one with a great battery that they can’t build enough of (Tesla) that makes people decide against the X3 because it’s inferior and they can’t get the iX3.

I simply do not believe the 30 minutes to fully recharge.
Charging with full 150kW even for the last few percent?
No way.

My hunch is 30 min for 80% charge. They don’t really state in press release, but that only makes sense. For long distance driving I think most would probably stop charging around 80% to avoid taper. Like if I were driving a Model 3 long distance I would drive it down as low as I could, and take 30 min charge stops as I went.

Good luck with the weight, if this is not a dedicated platform.
(The LIGHTEST ICE X3 is heavier than Tesla Model 3.

The faux grill looks ridiculous! Why not allow form to follow function? This BMW trademark design has to evolve, and going electric is the perfect chance. Why not just a hint of the twin kidneys, instead of this overblown hideous decoration.

You are not forced to like it.

Electric cars still need airflow, they hide the grille because of some false perception that they don’t need airflow. Cars without a nose grille look weird, which is why they still get put there. The Model 3 hides this a bit with a funky undercut lip that creates an area that offers the separation a grille does (it creates a big visual area that looks like it should have a grille). There is nothing wrong with faux grilles if they make the car look better visually.

Yes. Tesla is what I think of when I need form to follow function. Cough…falcon doors…cough, cough…no arm rests…cough.

I Hate Arm Rests, in 7+ years on my 2010 Kia Soul 2U, I have kept it flipped up, out of my way! I get a room when on the road, and want to sleep! 😀😣

Another Euro point of view

It is a little bit sad that cars electrification comes at a time when so many people think they need 4’000 lbs of car and sit high on the road to go from A to B. When I started driving cars were 2’000 lbs and SUV did not exist. With little cheap works on the aerodynamics, a 60 kWh battery on those cars would have driven them to the end of the earth. Now a 75 kWh battery on a heavy boxy car such as the X3 will give IMO a rather unconvincing real world range on a cold day at (normal/ICE) highway speed.

“When I started driving cars were 2’000 lbs” — That is about the right weight for a horse drawn carriage… LOL!!

Seriously though, the rise of the 4000K CAR (much less SUV) is the perfect time to introduce EV’s. Cars have gotten so heavy that the battery weight penalty has become a rounding error compared to ICE cars.

I don’t know of very many 2000 lb cars being sold in the US anymore.

2000 lbs is 30% lighter than even a BMW i3. The reason those cars were so light back then was due to the pencil thin A pillars and complete lack of crumple zones. US crash test standards are far stricter than in Europe. You wouldn’t be allowed to sell a 1970s Golf today.

Another Euro point of view

Yes but still those heavy cars are a problem for transition to EV, our IT guy in our group has a Tesla 75D and is based in Geneva Switzerland, he said that during the winter when he does spirited driving with his Tesla up the Swiss alps he sometimes manages to deplete his 75kWh battery almost to 0 in only 120 km (70 miles)…:-(

A 75kWh battery pack would weight close to 2000lb. So, in reality, your light 2000lb small car would have a much smaller battery, which would probably leave the driver with the same or less than 70 miles in good weather, much less winter in the alps.

No car from the 70s, 80s or 90s would be allowed to sell in the western world.
Most from the 2000, to 2010 would get 1 star in Euro NCAP test, or less.
Compared to a modern safe car, old cars are death traps.

This is smart packaging for where the US market is going with cars in general. The real magic will happen on the next oil price spike when SUV owners won’t have to give up their SUV to save on gas. They can have their cake and eat it too.

It may end up being expensive, but so is the gas version of the X3. And there need to be viable plug-in options in every market segment and price range vs. existing ICE cars. BMW might as well do the X3, it as as good a time as any.

You realize that the X3 is a car based crossover, and not your daddy’s box on frame SUV, right? SUV car mileage is not all that different from a medium sized car’s. The X3 get 28mpg on the highway.

Jaguar is getting better SUV (see f pace sales increasing) than BMW x3. So i can dream an electric f pace (ipace battery and engine now on the market) before this 2025 ix3. Too late BMW!

1) That MPG isn’t that great.

2) The turbo engine MPG rating assumes you drive like the EPA test (slow). Just like the Ford ecoboost turbos, real world drivers report much worse MPG. Check out fuelly for the X3 and you will see a wide range of results. With the new batch of 4-cyl turbos, you can choose between fuel economy and power, but not both at the same time. X3 owners will feel the heat the next high oil price cycle.

Wish they’d provide a tentative spec sheet. This voluminously worded release at least has the slightest bit of info in it, but a simple specification of slow charging and fast charging times would answer the questions I for one, have.