Beijing: BMW Concept iX3

BMW shares teaser video for its new iX3 SUV

BMW shares teaser video for its new iX3 SUV

Like most auto makers, BMW is ramping up its electric auto plans - and this will be one of the first new vehicles it will add to its line-up.

Set to enter production in 2020, the iX3, which will be the BMW Group's third pure electric model following the facelifted i3 and the upcoming MINI E, will be going against models like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron quattro, and also the Mercedes-Benz EQ C. Unlike competitors, BMW is able to do entirely without the use of rare earths such as neodymium, typically needed in electric motors for their unique magnetic properties. BMW says the iX3 will offer a range of about 250 miles when fully-charged.

This week BMW revealed a concept version of its first battery-electric SUV, the iX3 Concept. The new BMW i3X previous the next EV from the brand.

Powering the iX3 is a fifth-generation eDrive powertrain, which BMW claims features more powerful and lighter batteries that will extend the range while sapping less juice with extra weight.

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Fully electrified vehicles of the core brand will in future bear a BMW i brand logo. Assuming BMW continues to offer X-range models four-wheel drive, there's potential for a dual-motor set-up to be employed, which means 532bhp could be possible.

As is so often the case, the iX3 is a concept in name only. In turn, the hybrids can drive exclusively on electric up to 100 km. BMW plans to begin producing the iX3 in 2020 at its joint-venture plant in Shenyang and will sell the model overseas, according to partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings.

Under the skin is BMW's latest electric motor that churns out over 270bhp, or about the same as the current X3 30d. 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. Initial production will be for the local market in China, but ultimately the Chinese plant will be the sole supplier of iX3's globally. 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.

In the front, the kidney and the brand emblem show the affiliation with the BMW i brand. The body paint is matte-finish Moonstone Silver to go with the electric nature of the crossover.

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