There’s a healthy bit of anticipation surrounding the electric BMW iX3 as it heralds a new era for BMW electric vehicle production, – and the forthcoming SUV has now been spotted doing some winter testing in the Arctic. Those of you sensitive to car names may already be raising your eyes to the ceiling at yet another car getting an ‘i’ shoved in front to indicate just how modern it is, but can the iX3 actually justify the anticipation?
The existing BMW X3 is a fossil-fuelled SUV that aims its sights squarely at the higher end of the market – for those discerning drivers that require a bit of luxury in their 4 wheelers. The X3 has actually been with us longer than you might think, having made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003.
The X3 is a good-looking car; it hasn’t gone down the road leaning towards the edgy look of the Nissan fraternity some of its rivals and maintains the feel of a high-end BMW while still looking different enough to catch the eye.
The new iX3 SUV will not change that ideal too much and will be available as a hybrid as well as an all-electric model. The hybrid will have a 2-litre engine in conjunction with the electric motor that should give the car a decent boost in power.
We first got an inkling of an electric iX3 when it was discovered that BMW had trademarked a hefty amount of its vehicle monikers adding that ubiquitous ‘i’ in front. The indication was either that the company was planning ahead and for the forthcoming electric storm, or simply covering all bases and making sure no other company could use these in the future. BMW confirmed almost immediately that the electric iX3 would indeed be going into production. The trademarking actually suggests then that BMW will be using their existing vehicle base for developing new electric models rather than anything new from scratch – in the short-term at least. Indeed, the company has a plan to produce 12 electric cars by 2025.
The likely long-term future of BMW electric vehicles will be the Vision Dynamics concept (i5) that was revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, with a rang of 373 miles, a top speed of 120mph and a 0-62mph of 4-seconds. Design-wise the concept featured a sleek panoramic fastback style glass roof. Looking at past BMW concepts, we can probably expect much of this to make it to the production line.
As for the new BMW iX3, well this is expected to go on sale in the first quarter of 2019. So expect a trickle of more detailed information as the time approaches.
Images: carwow.co.uk, autoexpress.co.uk