The first fully electrically powered BMW X model is ready to conquer the roads. The BMW iX3 blends locally emission-free driving pleasure with the sporting ability for which BMW is renowned and the comfort, multi-faceted functionality and spaciousness of a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
The iX3 sees the BMW Group pressing ahead with the model offensive set out in its NUMBER ONE > NEXT corporate strategy in the segment for vehicles with electrified drive systems. The technological expertise amassed in the development of BMW i models is now coming to the fore in a fully electrically powered model from the BMW core brand.
The new BMW iX3 also embodies the strategic “Power of Choice” approach with which the BMW Group is covering the broad variety of customer requirements and statutory regulations around the world. The BMW X3 will be the first model to be available with highly efficient petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid system or a pure-electric drive system. The market launch of the iX3 will begin later in 2020, when sales get underway in China. It will be the brand’s first model to also be built for export at the Shenyang plant in China, which is operated by the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive.
The new BMW iX3 owes its forward-looking character to the unique combination of its electric motor’s efficiency, the optimised energy density of its high-voltage battery and its high charging capacity. This is the result of the BMW Group’s many years of unwavering development work in the field of electric mobility. The advances achieved since the market launch of the BMW i3 combine with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology to enable improvements in operating range through intelligently enhanced efficiency. This means that disproportiona large batteries, which usually have a negative effect on vehicle weight, driving dynamics and electric power consumption, can be avoided.
Premiere for fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology
The premiere of the new BMW iX3 also fires the starting gun for the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology. The latest versions of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery have enabled clear progress in the areas of performance characteristics, electric power consumption and range. The components developed by the BMW Group will also be fitted in the BMW iNEXT and BMW i4 models from 2021.
With these qualities in place, the new BMW iX3 has an eye on both the current requirements of the electric vehicle segment and its future face. In its fifth generation, BMW eDrive technology has attained a level of development beyond the one of market rivals and provides an outstanding basis for economically sustainable applications in volume production models. At the same time, the strong appeal of the overall vehicle concept goes hand in hand with rising demand worldwide for all-electric premium cars. The new BMW iX3 is therefore arriving at just the right moment.
Highly integrated drive system technology
The highly integrated drive system technology of the new BMW iX3 plays a particularly important role in optimising efficiency and power development. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are now arranged together in a single housing. The electric motor in the new BMW iX3 works according to the principle of a current-excited synchronous motor, without the usage of magnets. This design allows rare earths to be entirely avoided in the manufacturing of the motor.
The power density of the electric motor in the BMW iX3 is 30 per cent greater than that of existing fully electric vehicles from the BMW Group. The motor displays efficiency of up to 93 per cent,in comparison to under 40 per cent for combustion engines. The new drive system unit generates maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp and peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) which, unlike with many other electric motors, is sustained at high revs. The new BMW iX3 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds, putting it on equal footing with the conventionally powered BMW X3 xDrive30i. Top speed is electronically limited to 180 km/h (112 mph). Sending power to the rear wheels creates a classic BMW driving experience combined with supreme traction – thanks to ARB – and outstanding efficiency.
Cutting-edge battery cell technology plays a central role in the latest development stage of high-voltage batteries. The storage capacity of the battery, relative to the installation space required and its weight, has been substantially increased. The gravimetric energy density of the 188 prismatic cells in the new BMW iX3 is around 20 per cent higher than the one of the battery cells used by the BMW Group for fully electric vehicles up to now. A gross energy content of 80 kWh – of which 74 kWh is utilised – and the high efficiency of the drive systems allow the new BMW iX3 to offer a range of up to 459 kilometres (285 miles) in the WLTP test cycle and up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle.
The new technical features making their debuts under the banner of the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology include an innovative charging unit, sending power to both the 400V battery and the 12V on-board power supply. When using alternating current terminals, it enables both single-phase and three-phase charging at up to 11 kW. Plugging the vehicle into a direct current fast-charging station facilitates charging outputs of up to 150 kW. The high-voltage battery in the new BMW iX3 can therefore be charged from 0 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in 34 minutes. Drivers can inject the power required to add 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the car’s driving range (in the WLTP cycle) in 10 minutes of charging.
Optimised efficiency enhances capability over long distances
The outstanding efficiency of its electric motor and its high charging capacity give the new BMW iX3 an extraordinary long-distance capability. On a trip from Munich to Berlin, for example, a BMW iX3 would need to make fewer charging stops than a comparable electric vehicle whose efficiency is compromised by the presence of larger and heavier high-voltage batteries. Also those stops would be shorter as well. Efficiency and comfort are enhanced by digital services from BMW Connected Charging. When planning a route and calculating the arrival time, the E-Route function offers improved recommendations for mid-journey stops to charge the high-voltage battery. It also provides useful information on charging stations – such as availability and the authentication method required – as well as on points of interest in their surroundings. BMW iX3 drivers will benefit from particularly low rates when using fast-charging stations in the IONITY network. Here, e.g. in Germany, they can charge their car’s high-voltage battery with electricity at a rate of €0.29 per kilowatt hour.
Adaptive recuperation enhances efficiency and driving comfort during a journey. The intensity of the Brake Energy Regeneration is adapted to the road situation described by data from the navigation system and the driver assistance system sensors. For example, when approaching a junction, a speed-restricted stretch of road or a vehicle on the road ahead, recuperation is fully utilised. Meanwhile, on the open road, the coasting function is activated whenever the driver takes their foot off the accelerator. As an alternative to adaptive recuperation, in driving position D the driver can choose a high, medium or low Brake Energy Regeneration setting. Also, using the selector lever in the centre console to engage driving position B generates the signature one-pedal feeling of the BMW Group’s electric vehicles by providing particularly strong recuperation.
An advance heat pump which is included as standard builds on the underlying efficiency-oriented approach of the BMW iX3.
Sporty handling and supreme traction
The latest-generation high-voltage battery has a particularly slim construction. Positioned low down in the car’s underbody, it can be integrated into the SAV’s flexible vehicle architecture. This lowers the car’s centre of gravity by around 7,5 centimetres compared with its conventionally powered BMW X3 siblings, noticeably enhancing lateral dynamics. Among the bespoke elements of the BMW iX3’s chassis construction is a rear axle subframe, which offers the required installation space for the drive system unit. The standard adaptive suspension includes electronically controlled dampers, whose characteristics adapt to the road surface and situation at hand. This enables carefully judged optimisation of the car’s ride comfort and dynamics. The optional Adaptive M suspension is tuned to deliver particularly sporty damper response.
The instant power development of the electric motor and model-specific chassis tuning infuse the new BMW iX3 with sporty, agile driving attributes. The innovative ARB traction system familiar from the BMW i3 and a high level of directional stability also give it astonishing traction in adverse weather conditions and on loose ground for a Sports Activity Vehicle with a single driven axle.
Blazing a trail: products from BMW Charging, digital services from BMW Connected Charging and outstanding environmental credentials
The extensive product offering from BMW Charging builds on the BMW 360° Electric programme first launched by the BMW Group back in 2013. The company promptly captures a leading role in driving forward electric mobility by unveiling innovative solutions for charging at home or on the move. The newly developed Flexible Fast Charger cable will be available for the first time for the new BMW iX3, and can be hooked up to both standard domestic and industrial sockets by using adapters. Also, the Smart Wallbox available through various partners, depending on the market, is making its debut. It can be integrated into an existing home management system meaning it is now possible to keep a record of energy expenditure for home charging, making it very handy for company car users.
Besides that the BMW Charging Card comes as standard providing drivers with convenient access to more than 450,000 public charging stations worldwide.
The new cloud-based navigation system BMW Maps enables route and arrival times to be calculated with even greater speed and precision. Services already familiar from the BMW i3, such as navigation with range display on the map and detailed information on public charging stations – covering everything from address, availability and connector type through to charging rate and processing of payments – are now joined by additional functions that can be accessed from the car or with the new My BMW app. These include navigation planning with recommendations for charging stops, information on points of interest in the surrounding of public charging stations and the ability to filter search results to show fast-charging points.
The BMW iX3 is equipped as standard with the latest generation of the ID7 operating system, allowing every line of software code in the car to be updated over the air.
The exceptionally efficient drive system, the extensive use of secondary raw materials in the manufacture of aluminium castings and thermoplastics, the absence of rare earths, and the across-the-board use of green electricity in production, including the cells for the high-voltage battery, are all contributory factors in the remarkably impressive CO2 assessment for the new BMW iX3. The BMW iX3 outperforms the diesel-powered BMW X3 xDrive 20d by more than 30 per cent when charged with average European power in the use phase and roughly 60 per cent when green electricity is used.
Proportions and versatility of an SAV, innovative aerodynamic wheels
The exterior design of the new BMW iX3 displays the typical proportions of a Sports Activity Vehicle, which means it provides a visual showcase for the robust premium character and all-round talents espoused by BMW X models. But it also adds a locally emission-free drive system to the mix – without diluting those core SAV attributes in any way. Model-specific design features optimise the car’s aerodynamic properties while lending visual expression to its sustainability-focused drive concept at the same time. The front apron and BMW kidney grille have a largely enclosed design, while the rear end has also been sculpted in order to reduce air resistance.
Innovative, aerodynamically designed light-alloy wheels also help to control the flow of air around the vehicle. The aerodynamic wheels making their debut on the new BMW iX3 reduce its drag coefficient by around 5 per cent over an equivalent vehicle with conventional light-alloy wheels. This is achieved with the help of sophisticated inserts in the V-spoke base wheel whose surfaces keep the air flowing far more smoothly. Hence, the improvement in efficiency adds around 10 kilometres (6 miles) to the range of the new BMW iX3 in the new WLTP test cycle. This all combines with aerodynamic enhancements to the underbody’s rear diffuser and chassis strut area, as well as with the air flap control system, to give the all-electric SAV a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29.
Premium ambience and BMW IconicSounds Electric in the interior, two equipment lines to choose from
Understated blue accents for both the exterior and interior of the new BMW iX3 allude to the presence of its electric drive system. Combined with clearly structured controls, high-quality materials and stylishly designed surfaces create the premium interior ambience typically associated with an SAV. Another hallmark quality of this breed of car – versatility – is reflected in spaciousness on a par with that of conventionally powered BMW X3 model variants. Thanks to the 40 : 20 : 40 split/folding rear seat backrest, load capacity can be increased from 510 to a maximum of 1,560 litres, as required.
The debut of BMW IconicSounds Electric in the BMW iX3 provides acoustic feedback to enrichen the electric driving experience by lending it emotional depth. Load changes are signalled by a smoothly modulated sound, and recuperation during overrun and braking is accompanied by gently filtered acoustic response, meaning that every driving state is replicated by a matching sound pattern. When the Start/Stop button is pressed, a short sound composition can be heard, setting the scene for the electric driving experience in store. This particular feature comes as standard on the new BMW iX3, while the drive sound can be added by opting for the “Impressive” equipment line. The drive sound is an original work by BMW’s sound designers and acoustic engineers. The simulated Start/Stop sound in the BMW iX3 is the first sound originating from the cooperation between Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer and BMW to feature in a production vehicle. Drive soundtracks from the collaboration with Hans Zimmer will become available in electrified BMW models at a later date.
The BMW iX3 is available with a choice of two attractive equipment lines. The standard “Inspiring” specification comprises a wide array of details designed to enhance comfort, safety and driving pleasure. These include metallic paintwork, 19-inch aerodynamic wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic glass sunroof, automatic tailgate operation, Driving Assistant Professional featuring Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning, plus Park Distance Control with front and rear sensors, a tyre pressure indicator and an alarm system. There is also a sports steering wheel, a Storage package, ambient lighting, electrically adjustable seats with memory function on the driver’s side and a heat-pump-operated three-zone automatic climate control system including pre-heating and pre-conditioning function. BMW Live Cockpit Professional (complete with an optimised navigation system), the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto preparation, Remote Software Upgrade, the digital services from BMW Connected Charging, telephony with wireless charging and an audio system with DAB tuner can all be found on the standard equipment list too.
The optional equipment package “Impressive” puts 20-inch light-alloy wheels in the new aerodynamically optimised design and Adaptive LED headlights, while also adding acoustic glazing for the front door windows, Comfort Access, Vernasca leather trim and front sports seats with lumbar support. The BMW Head-Up Display, High Beam Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus including rear view camera are also on hand to enhance both comfort and safety. And for an even more exclusive flair and driving comfort, BMW gesture control, a Harman Kardon surround sound system and a WiFi hotspot are also included.