SPYSHOTS: BMW iX3 to debut at Geneva Motor Show?

The forthcoming BMW iX3 fully electric SUV has been spotted again, this time with one of the development vehicles seen wearing what appears to be a production set of wheels, which our spy photographer sources say indicate that the iX3 is nearing its debut.

Here, we can see that the development vehicles wear the redesigned grille and front and rear bumpers of the concept model, and while the units here appear not too far removed from earlier test mules, those appeared rather close to production readiness to begin with, and our sources say that the iX3 could be set for a debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, next month.

So far, we know that the iX3 will be the first BMW to get the automaker’s fifth-generation eDrive electric powertrain technology. This will produce maximum outputs of 210 kW (286 hp) and 400 Nm of torque. Like all electric motors, the unit in the iX3 delivers maximum torque instantly, though the German SUV’s can sustain acceleration at higher speeds due to exclusive design measures, it said.

The motor used in the iX3 also does not use rare-earth materials, and it can be programmed to ‘deliver the traditional BMW rear-wheel-drive experience’, the automaker said. This fifth-generation eDrive unit packages a drive motor, system electronics as well as transmission into a single housing, making it more compact as well as improving the motor’s ratio of output to drive system weight by 30% compared to an outgoing system.

Thus equipped, the iX3 – in concept guise at least – is rated for a range of more than 440 km based on the WLTP test cycle from its 74 kW battery pack that is mounted flat in the vehicle as to not affect passenger or luggage space. Meanwhile, a new battery charging control unit allows fast charging of up to 150 kW which equates to a full charge in 30 minutes from selected DC charging stations.

At launch, the BMW iX3 joins the X3 line-up for the 2020 model year, making this SUV the German brand’s first to be available with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains. The iX3 will be manufactured for the global market at the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive facility in Shenyang, China.

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