Electric cars may not have taken off quite as quickly as manufacturers might have hoped, but they are gaining ground and range is less of an issue than it once was. For most drivers, the range of the smart BMW IX3 Sports Activity Vehicle will suit most uses. The EV has grown up.
Scheduled for launch this Summer, UK buyers will be able to choose between the iX3 Premier Edition and iX3 Premier Edition Pro, both of which offer a significant level of standard equipment over and above the current X3 model.
The exterior design of the new BMW iX3 displays the typically robust proportions of a SAV. Model-specific design features include innovative, aerodynamically-designed light-alloy wheels which help, we learn, to control the flow of air around the vehicle. These wheels are making their debut on this car. The idea is to reduce the drag coefficient by around five per cent over an equivalent vehicle with conventional light-alloy wheels.
The front apron and familiar BMW kidney grille have a largely enclosed design, while the rear end has also been sculpted with a view to reducing air resistance. This is achieved with the help of sophisticated inserts in the V-spoke base wheel whose surfaces keep the air flowing smoothly. An automatic tailgate, adaptive suspension and panoramic sunroof complete the exterior look of the iX3.
Features include Vernasca leather in a choice of four colours with an attractive Sensatec (artificial leather) dashboard, sun protect glazing and ambient lighting. Electrically-operated seats are offered as standard, enhancing comfort and style. Additional standard features include wireless phone charging, heated front seats and the brand’s very latest driver assistance technology, which includes Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Professional.
For customers selecting the BMW iX3 Premier Edition Pro, additional standard features will include the BMW Head-up Display, Harman Kardon surround sound, Gesture Control, Parking Assistant Plus, Automatic high beam assistant, Comfort Access and Lumbar support, among much else.
The highly integrated drive system technology at the heart 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 use of magnets. This design eliminates the use of rare earth materials in the motor. Interesting development, that. The power density of the electric motor in the iX3 is thirty per cent greater than that of existing BMW fully-electric vehicles.
The new drive system unit generates maximum output of 286hp and peak torque of 295lb-ft which, unlike many other electric motors, is sustained at high revs. The BMW iX3 sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds, putting it in the same territory as the conventionally powered BMW X3 xDrive30i.
Top speed is electronically limited to 112 mph (there may be regional variations globally). Sending power to the rear wheels creates that traditional BMW driving experience with outstanding traction ensured thanks to the standard-fit ‘actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation’ technology.
Cutting-edge battery-cell technology plays a headline role in the latest development stage of high-voltage batteries. The storage capacity of the battery has been substantially increased, relative to the installation space required and its weight. A gross energy content of 80kWh (of which 74kWh is utilised) and the high efficiency of the drive systems allow the new BMW iX3 to offer a range of up to 279 miles, established on the standard global test cycle. Obviously real world range will depend on prevailing conditions, but that is still a convincing figure and includes adaptive energy recuperation.
On a long-distance trip, the company say, a BMW iX3 will 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. And the iX3 stops would be shorter too with fast charging.
The BMW IX3 is a very impressive vehicle that will deliver most daily average mileages and be, obviously, much cleaner in local environments. Starting price in the UK is just under £59,000; get in touch with us here at MHH International for further details about this great car.