After being one of the most committed manufacturers in the electric field (the i3 was released seven years ago), BMW had not repeated the experience, even leaving the way open to its rivals Audi and Mercedes. The development of the zero-emission car as well as European constraints on pollution have forced the Bavarian firm to review its position. The first incarnation of this strategic shift is none other than the iX3, a 100% electric version of the brand’s best-selling SUV in Europe, the X3.

From an aesthetic point of view, there is little or no change. This is a wish on the part of the manufacturer, which like Peugeot wants the engine not to be a factor in design. Defined in this way, BMW’s “Power of choice” strategy implies that the brand’s flagship vehicles will be available in conventional, hybrid and electric powertrains, their appearance varying only marginally. As a result, this iX3 comes just a few months after the plug-in hybrid version of the X3 and looks a lot like it. Only the bluish-tinted grille and optimized air intakes distinguish the vehicle from more traditional versions when viewed from the front. Two “i” logos and two diffusers (blue) on the rear are the only aesthetic differences with an X3 or its PHEV version.

Inside, it’s just a copy and paste of BMW’s classic SUV. Only a few blue inserts here also make it possible to realize that you are on board an electrified vehicle, but for the rest, it is navigation in known terrain.

80% battery charge in 34 minutes of recharging

On the performance side, the iX3 will be able to rely on a 210 kW (or 286 hp) engine that can develop 400 Nm of torque. The battery placed under the floor has a capacity of 74 kWh for a promise of 460 km of range. The only regret in terms of design: unlike most of its competitors, BMW has not seen fit to provide a front trunk in the space freed by the electric drive. Otherwise, the performance of the iX3 promises to be very decent, with a 0 to 100 km / h in 6.7 seconds which is more than adequate for a 2.2 tonne machine. As for recharging, it can go up to 150 kW (on the Ionity network, for example) which can recover, in theory, 80% of the battery in 34 minutes. For future owners who decide to install a wallbox to improve charging at home, the 11 kW of flow authorized by the iX3 will allow a full charge in 7:30, ideally at night.

The BMW iX3 will be deployed in two trim levels. The Inspiring version will be sold at 72,950 euros. As for the Impressive version, it will cost 79,350 euros. These prices are, of course high, but lower than those of competing vehicles, EQC or e-Tron among other German manufacturers. Above all, and this is quite rare, the entry price of BMW’s electric SUV is very close to that of the PHEV version, the X3 sDRive30e (around 69,000 euros), which should make more than one buyer doubt. However, with production of the iX3 only starting this month, you will have to be patient to get on board the BMW electric SUV. The first deliveries are scheduled for spring 2021.

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