iX3 SAV: BMW’s long-range electric vehicle gets 250 e-miles

Sep 02, 2019

The BMW iX3 is the first fully-fledged pure electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) from BMW since the i3. The iX3 has considerably more range: BMW has said it will achieve 250 miles, with a charging time of less than 30 minutes at a DC fast charging station. The iX3 SAV will be the brand’s first ever long-range electric vehicle.

By John Coulter, Current EV CMO

The iX3 is one of 12 EVs that Bayerische Motoren Werke will launch by the end of 2025. The first will be an electric Mini Hardtop due in 2019. The iX3 will follow in 2020. The automaker’s much-hyped iNext and a new i4 will arrive in 2021.

One of the first things you notice about the e-SAV is its Moonstone Silver Matte finish (silver with hints of blue), and the blue accents that extend from the redesigned kidney grille along the side skirts to the rear diffuser and apron. These accents set the electric vehicle apart from other SAVs and create what BMW calls “a tone for future models.”

The electrified iX3 displays moderate styling revisions from its predecessor, which primarily include the kidney grille (closed now, since there’s no need for air flow to penetrate into the car to cool an ICE engine) and color accents indicating it’s become an e-car. It’s overall body configuration is almost identical; a hint that BMW wants some of the interim members of its EV family to share design cues with its conventional Bimmers, instead of getting their own unique bodies.

The BMW i3’s oddball looks were polarizing and BMW didn’t sell as many of them as forecast. Though the car won highly prestigious World Green Car and World Car Design of the Year awards, its boxy proportions turned some people off. Sales weren’t exactly glowing.

So for the iX3 Sports Activity Vehicle, the next BMW EV released, the company decided to electrify one of its models and keep most of its looks conventional. That’s not to say the company’s upcoming plug-ins and pure electrics will do the same thing. They definitely won’t! The BMW iNEXT and Vision M Next are dramatic departures from existing BMW architecture.

BMW Group has been looking into sold-state batteries as well as designing a fifth-generation liquid-type battery design with a potential 400-mile range. At the moment, the iNext will be the first BMW to receive the high-range battery system. Still, a 77kWh 250 mile-battery for the iX3 will be an improvement, as will be the single electric motors on each axle; forward-thinking car manufacturers are now highly aware that separate motors for each axle is a far more efficient way to go. Power will come from a 270-horsepower electric motor spinning the rear wheels.

Production will take place in China; sales are expected to commence in 2020. The iX3 might even arrive as a 2021-year model.