The iX3 will arrive as part of the updated third-generation X3 range...
...it will be the first car to use BMW's new zero-emissions car underpinnings...
...that are being developed for use in all of the company's next-generation EVs
The structure is a development of BMW’s CLAR structure...
...which underpins the X3, 5 Series and 7 Series
Although the iX3 will probably feature a grille-free nose to reduce drag...
...its overall design is unlikely to drastically differ from its combustion engine siblings'
The underpinnings will come as part of BMW's fifth-generation EV platform...
...which will be used in 11 further electric BMWs due to arrive by 2025
Each of BMW's new electric models will have an 'i' at the start of its name
Set to be called the iX3, it will arrive as part of the updated third-generation X3 range and be the first car to get all-new zero-emissions underpinnings that are being developed for use in all of BMW’s next-generation EVs.
Spy photographers have caught an i3X development car testing in Scandinavia, where the range of its battery pack is being evaluated in conditions that regularly dip below -10deg.
The electric powertrain of this car, which is based on today's X3, which arrived last year, is evident from the lack of water vapour from tailpipes as it drives away. In these sub-zero conditions, combustion engine tailpipes almost always produce vapour.
The sighting of an EV X3 so early into the future car's development cycle shows that the platform of the future line-up is being engineered to adopt an electric powertrain from the off. This is essential for effective packaging to ensure cabin space is not compromised by the placement of batteries in the car’s floor.
Although the iX3 will probably feature a grille-free nose to reduce drag, it's overall design is unlikely to drastically differ from its combustion engine siblings'. The BMW Group’s latest stance on EV design is to be more discreet; Mini brand boss Sebastian Mackensen told Autocar recently that the marque “doesn’t need to make a big statement” about EVs.
The electric architecture beneath the iX3 will be the most advanced put into production by BMW. The iX3 will use two electric motors, one mounted up front driving the front wheels and a second at the rear within the axle assembly to drive the rear wheels. This set=up will enable torque vectoring to enhance traction.
The electric layout will come as part of BMW's fifth-generation EV platform and will be used in 11 further electric BMWs due to arrive by 2025.
Not all of those cars will adapt the twin-motor setup employed by the iX3, however; models less concerned with all-wheel drive traction could adopt a simpler layout, which uses a front-mounted electric motor in combination with a fixed-ratio gearbox and so-called electric propeller shaft to channel drive to the rear wheels.
Each of BMW's new electric models will have an 'i' at the start of its name to signify its EV status. BMW recently patented a list of nine names spanning from iX1 to iX9, although not all will necessarily be used because most will be aligned with current models in the line-up.
The brand will also produce an electric version of the future 4 Series GT, called the i4, in 2020 and an i5, which was previewed by the i Vision Dynamics concept and is due in 2021.