Say hello to the iX3, BMW's 'first' electric auto

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BMW is busy developing their first all-electric crossover, the X3 electric, for quite some time now. 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 iX3 will make its global public debut this week at the all-important Beijing motor show, and will sit alongside the i Vision Dynamics concept auto shown off previously, which is a big hint at what BMW has planned in the line of an i-badged electric saloon.

The Concept iX3 highlights the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology.

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Fully electrified vehicles of the core brand will in future bear a BMW i brand logo.

With the world premiere of the BMW Concept iX3, the BMW Group is opening a new chapter in its electrification strategy.

BMW plans to begin producing the iX3 in 2020 at its joint-venture plant in Shenyang, according to joint-venture partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd.

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Underneath the body, however, things are very different with the iX3 previewing a new flexible architecture able to accommodate electric, hybrid or combustion engine drivetrains, as well as front, rear or all-wheel drive layouts. But the concept is wearing an all-new kidney grille akin to the one seen on the i Vision Dynamics Concept from a year ago.

It says the battery capacity is over 70kWh and the electric motor produces 266bhp - which is slightly more than the most potent 3.0-litre xDrive 30d diesel X3 now on sale. A new charging control unit allows the battery to be recharged in 30 minutes when hooked up to a station with 150 kW output.

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The body of the vehicle is generally similar to the internal combustion X3, save for key design tweaks to show off its green credentials. These styling cues provide a striking contrast against the Moonstone Silver matt exterior paint finish. The same is true of the concept's special "aerodynamically optimised" alloy wheels.

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