BMW speed all-electric drive with iX3 sports activity vehicle concept
These are first pictures and details of BMW's new all-electric concept, the iX3.
The first of the manufacturer's core-range models to be driven solely by electric power, the mid-size sports activity vehicle has a 270hp electric motor and a claimed range of more than 400kms (under the new WLTP system).
According to the automaker, it has a high-voltage battery with a net capacity of more than 70 kWh.
The car's premiere marks a significant step towards the electrification of the BMW range.
Central to doing that is the ability, they say, of the new i-Drive technology to accommodate all types of front/rear/all-wheel drive set-ups.
It means diesel and petrol engines, as well as plug-in hybrids and battery-electric systems, all fit from the start.
This is a vital element in avoiding impinging on cabin space in some models, for instance.
BMW also say their fifth-generation eDrive technology has greatly improved the level of charging.
That technology is already part of the plug-in hybrid system in BMW iPerformance models, as well as the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.
Now the energy storage system has a new charging control unit.
This is designed to hook up to fast-charging stations, generating up to 150kW.
Charging the high-voltage battery takes just 30 minutes at one of these stations, according to BMW.
The Concept iX3 is unveiled at the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing today.
It would be a forerunner to a full production car to rival the Jaguar i-Pace and Audi e-tron when, as reported, it hits the roads as early as 2019. That could coincide with the introduction of an updated X3 range.
From now on, each of the brand's future electric models will have an 'i' at the start of their name to signify their EV status.
Several other automakers debuted cars at Beijing.
Among the more eye-catching was the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury crossover. The 740bhp concept SUV gives clue to the future path for the carmaker's sub-brand. Also on show is the 'long' A-Class saloon.
Several cars on display by European makers are being made just for the Chinese market.