The BMW iX3 Enters Production Featuring the Automaker's Next-Gen Electric Powertrain
German automaker BMW's electrification strategy is going strong and it seems to be paying off. The company recorded an all-time high 46.6% increase in plug-in vehicle sales during Q3 2020.
Now, BMW has begun production of its highly anticipated iX3 fully-electric SUV. The battery-powered offering will be the first BMW model to feature the company's next-generation all-electric drivetrain.
BMW describes the new iX3 as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and claims that the EV will benefit from the carmaker's fifth-generation electric powertrain tech, which has been designed to offer improved driving range.
BMW first unveiled the iX3 back in 2018 during the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. The iX3 is BMW's first battery-only model since the debut of the BMW i3 hatchback in 2013.
The BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) Chinese joint venture will be responsible for overseeing the production of iX3 SAV. All iX3 models will be manufactured out of BMW's Shenyang manufacturing facility in China and will be exported to other markets around the world.
China also happens to be the world's largest EV market and iX3 will help BMW capitalize on the growing popularity of SUVs with consumers.
By focusing its production operations exclusively in China, BMW has joined the likes of electric brand Polestar, which indicates that the People's Republic is fast becoming a popular destination for EV production.
The head of BBA's Technology and Production division, Franz Decker, recently announced that a new production system has been devised for the iX3. The new system has been designed to deliver high-quality products and meet all requirements that customers around the world might have of their upscale vehicles.
The BMW iX3 will be powered by an 80kWh battery pack, of which 74 kWh will be usable. According to BMW, this will translate into 286 miles (400 kilometers) of all-electric driving range as per WLTP standards, so we expect the real-world range to be around 200 miles.
BMW's fifth-generation electric drivetrain produces a max horsepower of 260 with 295 lb-ft of peak torque. It will be offered in a rear-wheel-drive setup and will accelerate to 60 MPH from a standstill in just 6.8 seconds.
The iX3 will also come equipped with 150 kW recharging capability which means a depleted battery pack can be recharged up to 80% capacity in just 34 minutes using one of BMW's DC fast-charging stations.
BMW recently announced that it will not sell the iX3 in the U.S. The company arrived at this decision after conferring with its U.S. dealer network.
BMW's American dealers felt that iX3's limited driving range will make it difficult for them to sell enough units. The iX3's chief competitor is the Tesla Model Y, which offers 316 miles of range as per EPA estimates.
The battery-powered iX3 will hit dealerships across China and Europe in the coming weeks.
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