BMW iX3 – fully electric SUV virtual debut on July 14 –

The all-electric BMW iX3 has been confirmed by the German automaker to be making its debut next week on July 14, which will be broadcast online on a dedicated live stream page at 10am Munich time. The launch event can be watched on other BMW Group social media channels thereafter, says the automaker.

Codenamed the G08, the BMW iX3 will start production at the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) Dadong production plant in Shenyang, China later in the Northern Hemisphere summer, followed by its market arrival by the end of the year.

Aside from the shadowy teaser image above which came along with the iX3’s debut announcement, the electric SUV has been pictured in what appears to be a pair of official photographs, leaked on Instagram. Given that the iX3 is an electric version of the G01 BMW X3, the iX3 wears a host of EV-specific exterior cues on a body that is otherwise familiar from the internal-combustion SUV.

Here, the signature BMW kidney grille is mostly closed off in this EV application, though it still has intakes along its lower sections. The reduction in air intakes also applies to its front bumper, though a vertical intake strip remains at each corner. In terms of rolling stock, the iX3 gets the BMW Aerodynamic Wheel, made of aluminium and with individually designed inserts, and helps reduce aero drag by 5% compared to a standard X3 wheel, as well as being 15% lighter than previous aero wheels from the German automaker.

What appears to be official images of the iX3 were leaked in April. Click to enlarge

A blue stripe features along with side of the car within its wheelbase, and similar blue accents appear on the kidney grille. The iX3 continues to draw upon the familiar look of the G01 X3 at the back, though the lower section of the rear bumper gets a pair of flaps in place of the ICE-powered model’s exhaust pipes, also trimmed in blue, the design cues coming together to distinguish the iX3 from the internal combustion X3.

The iX3 is BMW’s first to go to production with the marque’s fifth-generation eDrive technology, which is fully developed in-house, while its battery and electric motor are produced in corporately owned manufacturing facilities. Its nature enables the powertrain to be scalable for varying levels of power and energy content, and its compact packaging gives better flexibility for installation in different bodystyles.

The electric powertrain in the iX3 produces 286 hp and 400 Nm of torque, fed by a 74 kWh battery that give a range of 440 km on the WLTP test cycle, with a claimed power consumption of less than 20 kWh per 100 km. The new prismatic battery is also scalable and its cells are grouped in modules, and the battery pack is located in ‘an extremely flat position’ so as to not affect passenger or luggage space, claims BMW.

Competitors in this segment include the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQC, which is more powerful with 402 hp and 765 Nm of torque, though the EQC arrives with two motors compared to the iX3’s single unit. Munich’s model will go slightly further on a single charge, as Mercedes-Benz claims a range of 417 km on the WLTP test cycle, with an energy consumption of between 22.3 to 25 kWh per 100 km.

GALLERY: BMW iX3 spyshots

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