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The BMW iX3 concept is an all-electric SUV

BMW's answer to the Jag I-Pace has arrived in concept form

Say hello to BMW’s first all-electric SUV – a restyled, re-engineered X3 with the firm’s latest “eDrive” technology that gives “considerable advances in terms of performance characteristics, operating range, weight, packaging space and flexibility” over its existing i-cars.

Set to rival the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron Quattro and Mercedes EQ C, the iX3 features a modular EV drivetrain where the electric motor, transmission and power electrics are grouped into a single component. This, says BMW, makes it easy to “integrate into different vehicle architectures” and “adapt to the performance levels required and the available space”.

In the iX3 you get a battery with “over 70kWh” of capacity, giving more than 249 miles of range on the new WLTP cycle, around 268bhp and a 30-minute re-charge time from a 150kW fast-charger. The X suggests all-wheel drive, but BMW has yet to confirm. The kidney grille has been fared in to make the iX3’s front-end more aerodynamic, but otherwise the Concept looks very much the same as existing petrol and diesel X3s.

Remember, unlike its rivals the iX3 is not a bespoke object, but an existing car whose architecture has been adapted to accept an EV drivetrain. BMW says the iX3 “features a specially developed rear axle subframe and specific chassis integration”, and that the X3 is the first of its regular production cars (not the i3 or i8) to demonstrate how “current and future models” can accept different drivetrains. In the not-too distant future, BMW says it will be able to fit a pure combustion engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or battery-electric drivetrain “into any model, as desired.”

Revealed at this week’s Beijing Motor Show, the iX3 will be built at BMW’s factory in Shenyang, China. No official word on a release date, but expect to see a productionised version in the next couple of years.

So it’s this, the Jag, the Audi or the Merc. Thoughts, Internet?

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